Anorak | Madeleine McCann caused the Daily Express to withdraw from the PCC

Madeleine McCann caused the Daily Express to withdraw from the PCC

by | 12th, January 2012

AT the Leveson Inquiry Hugh Whittow, editor of the Daily Express, explains why his paper ran the Madeleine McCann story day after day after day…

Steven Baxter hears Whittow say:

“We ran the story because it was a huge story, it was the only story”

Whittow is then asked why the Express withdraw from the PCC:

“Because of the McCanns I think that was a huge problem for us and I think they should have intervened … no one was intervening at all. Everybody had too much leeway, it just went on and on. I don’t blame the PCC. I just think in hindsight they might have been able to intervene and perhaps this will reflect in the body that you set up.”

Was the Express the victim of too little intervention? Is Whittow arguing for more interventions? Does His boss Richard Desmond know?

Peter Preston wrote in the Guardian:

Should the McCanns have gone to the Press Complaints Commission instead of winning £550,000 from the Express group in libel damages?

What is the job of the PCC?

Whittow adds:

“The source of the stories was entirely coming from Portugal … and we were being fed stories by the Portuguese police and press.

Dawn Neeson, the Daily Star’s editor says:

“With hindsight, I honestly don’t recall what my thought process was. It was huge story, which everyone was talking about at the time.”

The editor cannot recall why she led with the McCanns?

“It was a huge huge story and mistake were made, for which I am truly sorry. It was a risk and to this day I regret what happened in the McCann case and all I can do is repeat the apology on page 1 for the hurt and distress we caused them.”

Nicole Patterson, head of legal at Express Newspapers, also comments on the McCanns in relation to hiring the likes of convicted private detective and ex-policeman Steve Whittamore to “research” targets. Patterson mentions a “search in relation to Robert Murat“, the innocent man whose life was sullied in connection with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The Express titles used Steve Whittamore about 65 times, she tells Leveson, and the Star four times.

Posted: 12th, January 2012 | In: Madeleine McCann Comments (6) | TrackBack | Permalink