By: DAISY SAMPSON
MAX CLIFFORD has spoken about the benefits of PR in dispelling rumours surrounding those connected to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and believes the public perception of Robert Murat and the McCanns has been “improved” because of others speaking in their defence.
He told The Resident: “Robert Murat and the McCanns have both had periods of being crucified by the UK media and being accused of all sorts of things that were simply untrue. These sorts of situations benefit greatly from PR in helping the truth come out by other means.”
Kate and Gerry McCann and Robert Murat are all arguidos in Portugal and are therefore unable to comment about the case surrounding Madeleine’s disappearance.
Max Clifford believes that because family members and friends have spoken out in protection of all three arguidos that this has “definitely helped stop the horrible attacks on them all in the British media”. “How would you feel if the papers were printing stories about you owning child pornography or other horrible lies and you weren’t allowed to defend yourself? I advised Robert Murat’s family and friends to speak out and defend him like others have done for the McCanns and because of this all the rumours and attacks in the paper have stopped,” he told The Resident.
Robert Murat is no longer in the media spotlight, Max Clifford told The Resident.
“I haven’t heard from him or his family for weeks now since the stories about him have stopped being put in the papers,” he said, adding that he was unsure how his help of Robert Murat would continue in the future.
The Resident spoke to Robert Murat, who said: “My legal case is running at the moment in the UK so I am not doing anything that Max could help me with. He isn’t representing me currently, only my mum and Sally (aunt) and I call his staff every now and again to say hello.”He added: “Max has been very helpful in giving advice but at the moment things are quiet.”
Meanwhile, Gerry and Kate McCann visited Strasbourg on Tuesday this week in an attempt to push for further support of the written declaration on emergency cooperation in the recovery of missing children.
This is the second time the McCanns have appealed directly to MEPs, the first being in April when the written declaration was officially launched in Brussels. The latest figures show that 226 MEPs have signed in support of the declaration but a further 167 MEPs are required to sign the declaration for it to be accepted.
“While we remain confident, we have also learnt that we still have much to do to increase awareness,” Kate McCann told a press conference in Strasbourg. Kate McCann also spoke of her “surprise” to learn that some MEPs are still unaware of the declaration despite the huge publicity surrounding it.
An online and written petition in support of the declaration, led by Christine Kelly, the aunt of the Irish missing teenager Amy Fitzpatrick, now has 11,000 signatures including the support of eight Irish MEPs. Christine Kelly told The Resident: “We never thought this would happen to us, nobody knows who is next; that is why people need to sign this petition.”
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