The Metropolitan Police commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, says he won’t be “bullied” into apologising to Lord Bramall.
The D-Day veteran was involved in the force’s inquiry into high profile child sex abuse allegations when his home was raided.
Last month, the 92-year-old was told he would face no further action over those claims, almost nine months after he was interviewed by officers as part of the Met’s Operation Midland.
Appearing at the Home Affairs Select Committee, the country’s most senior police officer expressed “regret” over what happened, but repeatedly refused to apologise.
During one exchange, Conservative MP Tim Loughton mentioned a “media circus” surrounding the case.
Sir Bernard said, “Ah the media circus. If what you mean is that you want me to be bullied into apologising then that won't happen."
Mr Loughton replied, "So you think you're being bullied, do you?"
Sir Bernard said: "I'm asking you whether that's what you think."