"The UK high commissioner to Kenya has said that he regrets causing any offence when he launched a stinging attack on government corruption.
But Edward Clay said that the subject was a valid one to raise.
He accused unnamed corrupt officials of behaving "like gluttons" and "vomiting on the shoes" of donors.
The Kenyan government had challenged him to substantiate his allegations or apologise. US and Norwegian officials have backed up Mr Clay's position.
Chris Mullin, the UK Foreign Office Minister with responsibility for Africa, told the BBC: "We heard the speech in advance and we did clear it."
He said President Kibaki had invited Mr Clay to speak out on corruption in Kenya but the diplomat had been trying to meet the president for the last four months."