Media monitoring chief to act as liaison for McCanns

The director of the government’s media monitoring unit was this week flown to Portugal to act as a media liaison for the family of ­missing toddler Madeleine McCann.

Clarence Mitchell, a former BBC journalist, has been ­appointed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It is un­derstood he was personally requested by the government’s permanent secretary for communications Howell James.

Mitchell told PRWeek: ‘No family could handle this level of media interest by themselves.’ His brief includes ensuring accuracy of coverage and ­liaising with police to ensure media statements do not inadvertently jeopardise the investigation.

Mitchell has taken over from Sheree Dodd, who was flown to Portugal last Tuesday but has since returned to the UK.

SEPARATELY...  Max Clifford is advising the aunt and mother of suspect Robert Murat. Clifford said: ‘They have done nothing wrong and have been hounded by the media. I am happy to give them unpaid advice.’ He said he would only represent Murat himself if he was found innocent.

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