Fox News has issued a formal apology after describing areas of England and France as "no go areas" for non-Muslims.

Last week, terrorism commentator Steve Emerson attracted ridicule after describing Birmingham as a "totally Muslim" city where "non-Muslims simply don't go in."

In another broadcast, the network highlighted maps of neighbourhoods in French cities it branded no-go zones for non-Muslims.

In four separate instances the network has apologised for the claims.

"Over the course of this last week we have made some regrettable errors on air regarding the Muslim population in Europe – particularly with regard to England and France," anchor Julie Banderas said.

"This applies especially to discussions of so-called 'No Go Zones' areas where non-Muslims allegedly aren't allowed in and police supposedly won't go."

"To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country… and no credible information to support the assertion that there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.

"There are certainly areas of high crime in Europe as there are in the United States and other countries – where police and visitors enter with caution. We deeply regret the errors and apologize to any and all who may have taken offense including the people of France and England.

Emerson's comments drew widespread ridicule, and led to prime minister David Cameron describing him as "a complete idiot."

The pundit formally apologised and donated £500 to a Birmingham children's hospital.

In an interview with Sky News he drew further criticism after describing listening to his comments as like "water-boarding", the torture technique used against terrorism subjects by the CIA.

Jeanine Pirro, who was interviewing Emerson when he made the comments, made her own apology, and said that she should have challenged Emerson.