The acting chairman of the British Broadcasting Corporation has apologized "unreservedly" for errors contained in a harshly criticized broadcast on Iraq's pre-war weapons program.
Richard Ryder also apologized Thursday to the individuals whose reputations were affected by the errors. Mr. Ryder issued his statement Thursday shortly after BBC Director General Greg Dyke stepped down.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, responding in a televised statement, accepted the apology, saying it allowed all affected parties to move on. Mr. Blair also said he respected the independence of the BBC.
A number of BBC employees walked out of the network's two main London offices following Mr. Dyke's resignation in a show of protest and sympathy. The board has named Mark Byford, the head of the network's newly formed Global News Division, to replace Mr. Dyke on an acting basis.
Mr. Blair had earlier found fault with an apology issued by Mr. Dyke Wednesday. That apology was limited to specific errors contained in a May 29th BBC broadcast that accused Mr. Blair's government of exaggerating the threat of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
In his report clearing Mr. Blair of wrongdoing, Judge Brian Hutton Wednesday called the BBC broadcast unfounded, and said editors should have examined it before it was aired.
BBC Board Chairman Gavyn Davies resigned Wednesday after the judge released his findings, saying he took full responsibility for the broadcaster's actions.
information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.