The beginning of testimony from the Daily Express editor centred around the paper's extensive coverage of the Madeline McCann case, and the eventual printing of a front page apology and £550,000 payout to the McCanns after publishing defamatory articles.
When asked about the Express's withdrawal from the PCC when he was deputy editor, he said that the regulator could have done more to prevent the publishing of defamatory articles, claiming that "everybody had too much leeway".
In response to suggestions that the newspaper presents a particular version of the news, he said: "We don't twist anything. We just present the news of the day," and claimed that a specific editorial line is not laid out to reporters, but that "they absorb it".
Whittow also said that the laid-back picture Kelvin MacKenzie painted of his newsroom at The Sun, where he used to work, was not one he recognised. He said journalists would be told "in no uncertain terms" if they made mistakes under MacKenzie, and that it was "a very professional, tight-run ship."