The new spokesman for the parents of missing British four-year-old Madeleine McCann has claimed it is ludicrous to suggest the couple was guilty of harming her.

Gerry and Kate McCann are trying to clear their names after Portuguese police named them as formal suspects in the disappearance of their daughter.

Since their return to England last Sunday, the McCanns have faced intense media speculation about their role in the case.

Clarence Mitchell, who resigned his job as a British government official to represent the McCanns, said the McCanns had no plans to return to Portugal in the near future.

Mr Mitchell also denied that he was being paid either by the McCanns or their Madeleine fund, only saying his expenses were being met by one of the couple's 'generous financial backers'.

The McCanns, who have conducted a massive media campaign to find their daughter, have hired lawyers in Portugal and England to defend them in case they are charged.