Prime Minister David Cameron has been heard saying Yorkshire people “hate each other”, while rehearsing a speech.
Wearing a microphone but not on camera, he was thought to be rehearsing an answer to a question on devolution.
Ahead of a speech in Leeds, he said: “We just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else, we didn’t realise they hated each other so much.”
It is not known whether Mr Cameron was making a joke and Downing Street has refused to comment.
Mr Cameron is in Leeds making a speech on the economy.
He was heard speaking to an unidentified male off-stage about the region’s devolution proposals.
The prime minister was wearing a television microphone when he made the comments but was not aware he was being recorded.
Councillor Judith Blake, Labour Leader of Leeds City Council, criticised Mr Cameron and described Yorkshire people as “the friendliest in the world”.
“If Mr Cameron visited Leeds more often, rather than for the occasional political stunt, he’d soon get to know that,” she added.