latest music news
Spy death: MI6 chief apologises
One of Britain's most senior spies apologised to Gareth Williams' family for the mix-up which saw MI6 fail to report his disappearance for a week.
Sir John Sawers, chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, expressed the "deepest condolences" of MI6 and GCHQ for the death.
In a statement delivered by MI6 lawyer Andrew O'Connor, Sir John said the service should have acted more swiftly when Mr Williams failed to turn up to work in August 2010.
Mr O'Connor said: "On behalf of the whole organisation, Sir John regrets this deeply and apologises unreservedly."
The MI6 chief said "lessons have been learned, in particular the responsibility of all staff to report unaccounted staff absences".
Mr Williams "was a man of remarkable talents, talents which he devoted to the public service", the statement added.
"The work that Gareth undertook both at Cheltenham and in London made a real contribution to the security of this country and of its citizens," it said.
"Gareth continues to be mourned by his friends and colleagues. The Secret Intelligence Service and GCHQ would like to express once again their deepest condolences to Gareth's family at their tragic loss."