A community leader has called on Haringey Borough Council to break its silence after an official described Tottenham as a "war zone".
Sharon Grant, who was recently made an OBE for her voluntary work, has said that the rumours are "toxic", and that the council must either offer "clarification or an apology".
Ms Grant, the chairman of Haringey Citizens' Advice Bureau, criticised councillors for not speaking publicly about the allegations.
She said: "I don't think it's very helpful for people to close ranks. Someone's made a mistake, and we need clarification on what has happened.
"Obviously we hope there's no officer in the council that believes that sort of thing.
"It's a very negative phrase, nor is it true. There's a great deal of positive activity going on, also there's a lot of positive thinking and optimism going on in Tottenham."
Referring to the 2011 riots, which sparker looting throughout London and in other cities, she added: "A lot of us have worked very hard, particularly in the voluntary sector, and an awful lot of people have worked hard since 2011 to change the image of Tottenham."
She added: "I don't know why the council have opted not to talk about it, but my concerns are for the reputation of Tottenham.
"It might have been made as a joke, or in a certain context, but we need an apology or we need a clarification.
"The rumours are out there and Tottenham has suffered from rumours in the past."