One of Prime Minister David Cameron's top advisers has publicly apologized for racist comments he made 30 years ago that have just been made public.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin said Wednesday comments he made to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1985, when several major British cities were gripped by riots, were "badly worded and wrong."

In a memo to Thatcher, Letwin blamed "bad moral attitudes" for rioting in mostly black inner city communities. He said white communities had lived for decades in similar conditions without rioting.

He was at the time an influential adviser to Thatcher and helped shape her government's response to the inner city disturbances.

The memo was released by the National Archives under a rule requiring government documents to be made public after three decades.