In a statement issued through the Conservative Party, Sir Irvine Patnick said:
I would like to put on the record how appalled and shocked I was to discover the extent of the deceit and cover-up surrounding these events.
It is now clear that the information I received from some police officers at the time was wholly inaccurate, misleading and plain wrong.
However, I totally accept responsibility for passing such information on without asking further questions.
So, many years after this tragic event, I am deeply and sincerely sorry for the part I played in adding to the pain and suffering of the victims' families.
More top news
Uptown Funk, his collaboration with Bruno Mars, reached number one in the charts again this evening.
ITV News spoke to Nick Channing-Williams who described the freezing conditions on board the car ferry that caught fire earlier today.
A widespread frost will affect the UK due to plummeting temperatures along with a lingering fog in several areas.