British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said his remarks last week about a jailed Iranian-British aid worker could have been clearer, and said he had not wanted to add credence to Iranian allegations against her.

Last week Mr Johnson said Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been teaching people journalism before her arrest in Iran in April 2016.

The family and employer of the mother-of-one insist that is incorrect, saying that she was in the country visiting family when she was detained.

"The UK government has no doubt that she was on holiday in Iran when she was arrested last year and that was the sole purpose of her visit," Mr Johnson said this afternoon.

"My point was that I disagreed with the Iranian view that training journalists was a crime, not that I wanted to lend any credence to Iranian allegations that Mrs Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been engaged in such activity," he said.

"I accept that my remarks could have been clearer in that respect and I am glad to provide this clarification."

Mr Johnson said he would travel to Iran in the coming weeks and discuss all consular issues there.

Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is serving a five-year sentence in an Iranian jail, was summoned to an unscheduled court hearing last weekend at which Mr Johnson's remarks were cited as proof that she had been engaged in "propaganda against the regime".

Reports suggest the new charge could add five years to her prison term, imposed over unspecified allegations of involvement in a supposed coup attempt against the Iranian government, which she denies.

Mr Ratcliffe told the BBC that a public retraction by Mr Johnson was required.

He said: "I would like him to retract in parliament, in parliament rather than in a phone call to his counterpart, what he said, and say clearly that Nazanin wasn't training journalists and that she was just there on holiday."

He also called on Mr Johnson to visit Ms Zaghari-Ratcliffe in prison, but insisted he remained hopeful his family could be reunited within weeks.

This morning, the Trade Secretary Liam Fox defended Mr Johnson saying he did not believe his colleague had made a serious gaffe in his comments, but instead saying he believed the comments were being used it was an attempt to discredit the foreign secretary.