BBC Editor says he was advised to pull journalists from Libya by Foreign Office

Williams playfully described the advice as “very generous”, but said broadcasters told the Foreign Office that they would “accept responsibility” for having their journalists report from dangerous locations.

Williams also claimed there were “lots of hints from the British” that BBC Correspondent Jeremy Bowen’s interview with Colonel Gaddafi in February “really wasn’t very helpful”.

NATO officially took control of all aspects of the military campaign in Libya on 31 March although British, French and US airstrikes had begun on 19 March two days after UN Resolution 1973 had been passed.

The resolution called for a no fly zone and measures to protect the civilian population from Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.