Newly elected Republican congressman George Santos has apologised for false claims he made regarding his education and employment history.

Santos, who was elected in New York, admitted that parts of his CV were untrue.

The 34-year-old claimed that he worked at high-profile firms such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.

The allegation was first made in a report published by The New York Times on 19 December.

He is the first Latino and openly gay Republican to be elected to congress.

He was elected on 8 November and is set to be sworn in on 3 January.

Before his admission, Santos tweeted a statement from his attorney which described the NYT’s report as a “shotgun blast of attacks”

He also admitted that he did not go to university, despite saying he received a degree in 2010 from Baruch College.

“I didn’t graduate from any institution of higher learning,” he said.

“I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume.”

He concluded: “I own up to that… We do stupid things in life.”

Santos said he was “not a criminal” and stated that the controversy would not deter him from serving his two-year term in Congress.

His Democratic opponent, Robert Zimmerman tweeted that Santos should be held accountable for his actions.

Zimmerman wrote: “George Santos admits to being a liar, a criminal and a con-artist. He defrauded Nassau and Queens residents and must be held accountable”.