"I apologise for any offence taken."
It has been reported that 17 MPs wrote to BBC director-general Tim Davie and called for Charlie Stayt and Naga Munchetty to be reprimanded.
This comes after the BBC Breakfast presenters mocked the Union Jack.
The controversy came to light on March 18, 2021, after the pair were accused of mocking communities secretary Robert Jenrick about the British flag and a picture of the Queen in his office.
Mr Stayt told the Cabinet Minister:
“I think your flag is not up to standard size Government-interview measurements. I think it’s just a little bit small.”
Naga Munchetty, who was laughing, was heard saying:
“They had the picture of the Queen there as well, though.”
The controversy continued when Miss Munchetty ‘liked’ insulting tweets about the Union Jack including a reference to “flag sh*****s” being “up in arms”.
She later removed the ‘likes’ and wrote:
“These do not represent the views of me or the BBC. I apologise for any offence taken.”
It is believed her apology came after concerns were expressed by senior BBC bosses.
MPs wrote to Mr Davie saying they had been “inundated with complaints” from constituents.
They called for Mr Stayt and Miss Munchetty to be “reprimanded” and to “apologise for their conduct”.
MPs added that the attitudes on the programme were inappropriate and disrespectful.
In response, Mr Davie stated that the BBC is “proud to be British” and revealed that the two presenters had been “spoken to” and “reminded of their responsibilities”.
In his response, Mr Davie included a response from the editor of BBC Breakfast, Richard Frediani.
He said that Mr Stayt spoke “off the cuff” with words “meant as a light-hearted comment” and “no offence or disrespect was intended”.
Mr Frediani added: “Naga and Charlie have been spoken to and reminded of their responsibilities, including the BBC’s impartiality and social media guidelines.”
However, other BBC stars appeared to mock the controversy on social media.
News At Ten presenter Huw Edwards posted a picture of himself in front of the Welsh flag with the words:
“Flags are now mandatory – very pleased with my new backdrop for @BBCNews at Ten.”
He was supposedly then spoken to by bosses.
In a subsequent message, he revealed that the “pro-flag” tweet had been “cut down” and that it was “by order” and instead said people could enjoy “this magnificent flag”, picturing one with the BBC logo.
Gutted. My pro-flag ??????? tweet has been cut down in its prime. By order. But it will be back tomorrow ? — by popular demand. ??????? Meanwhile enjoy this magnificent flag — one of my favourites. ? #SixNationsRugby #FRAvWAL pic.twitter.com/f1RY9xIvNJ
— Huw Edwards (@huwbbc) March 19, 2021
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker also appeared to poke fun when he wrote on Twitter:
“Might buy a flag.”
In the letter to Mr Davie, MPs said:
“We feel that the hosts need reminding that the B in BBC stands for British and that the comments and attitudes on display towards both our flag and our Queen were inappropriate and also disrespectful.”
Since become director-general in 2020, Mr Davie has cracked down on the way stars behave on social media, as part of his focus to tackle impartiality issues.
The BBC has also announced that it is moving more of its staff and shows out of London.
This comes amid concerns that it is dominated by a metropolitan elite that is out of touch with much of the UK.