Matthew Hedges Image Credit: AFP

LONDON: Briton Matthew Hedges returned to London on Tuesday, his family said, a day after the UAE pardoned his life sentence for spying in a case.

Britain thanked the UAE after Hedges was among more than 700 prisoners pardoned by UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for next month's National Day.

"I don't know where to begin with thanking people for securing my release," Hedges said in the statement.

The UAE showed footage at a news conference in the capital Abu Dhabi in which Hedges confessed to being an MI6 foreign intelligence agent.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt expressed gratitude to the UAE.

The convicted British spy reveals that he was a captain with MI6, the UK’s foreign intelligence service. Hedges also admits that his PhD and businessman status was just a cover to conceal his activities.