A former councillor has demanded an apology after a council officer described Tottenham as a “war zone”.

Current Labour councillors have also privately expressed dissatisfaction at the comment, which they say was made by a senior council officer during a presentation and bus tour of the borough for new councillors.

Alan Stanton, a Labour councillor for 16 years, took to Twitter and said: “I heard about disgusting war zone comment by senior officer. Tottenham residents need a public apology”, adding, “I want to understand how people hold such ignorant and destructive views and still believe they’re doing ‘regeneration’”.

Newly elected councillor Denise Marshall expressed her anger on Facebook, writing: “I have now left the meeting before things turned nasty and I had to get all vexated and rowdy”.

Martin Ball, a member of the Bruce Grove Stakeholder Regeneration Group (BGSR), demanded that the council clarified what had been said, and why.

He said: “It is important that the truth is known as gossip strikes at the constructive relationship established in the stakeholder group.”

Haringey Council has declined to comment.