A Government minister has apologised to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney after claiming she got high-profile cases because she is married to a Hollywood star.

Lord Faulks apologised for "any offence, distress or inconvenience" caused by his comments about the lawyer, wife of movie actor George Clooney,

But he insisted that he never intended to imply that Mrs Clooney's success was linked to her celebrity husband.

Lord Faulks said: "I apologise to Amal Clooney for any offence, distress, or inconvenience caused by my comments. I never intended to imply that her considerable success, nor the esteem in which she is held by the legal profession, is due to her marriage.

"I regret the fact that my comments have been interpreted in this way and am very happy to set the record straight."

Lord Faulks was quoted in the Daily Mail as saying: "I'm sure she gets such high-profile cases and everyone wants her because she's married to George Clooney; and by employing her they'll give publicity to their case."

The minister also referred to her "new-age media trendy accent" and added: "I can tell you, they weren't like that when I was a barrister."