LONDON — Boris Johnson has apologised for the “distress” he has caused Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and her family after he suggested that she was in Iran to train journalists rather than on holiday.
The Foreign Secretary told MPs: “Of course I apologise for the distress, for the suffering, that has been caused by the impression that I gave that I believed that she was there in a professional capacity. She was there on holiday.”
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: “His pride matters not one ounce [compared] to her freedom.”
Watch Boris Johnson’s apology below
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in Tehran last March, and since then has been in prison while the Foreign Office, which Johnson leads, tries to secure her release.
Conservative MP Julian Lewis, chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee said: “This has not been his finest hour.”
Johnson refused requests to apologise for being wrong, saying only that he could have been “clearer” about the subject, adding that his comments were “open to being misinterpreted.” He will meet Richard Ratcliffe, Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband on Wednesday.
“My comments should have been clearer and I apologise” says @BorisJohnson after his mistake caused greater despair for Zaghari-Ratcliffe pic.twitter.com/fu0zVjf4Jt
— Sky News (@SkyNews) November 13, 2017
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.