Prime Minister David Cameron has said it was a ‘total joke’ after his comments about Yorkshire today sparked controversy.
The Conservative leader, who was in Leeds, apparently left his microphone on while rehearsing a speech, which recorded the comments.
Mr Cameron reportedly said: “We just thought people in Yorkshire hated everyone else - we didn’t realise they hated each other so much.”
Mr Cameron was in Leeds to talk about devolution, and the economy.
Authorities across Yorkshire submitted scores of bids for devolution - where extra powers and funding are transferred from Whitehall - last week.
Sheffield City Region submitted one bid, but in the rest of Yorkshire there are several that overlap.
Now Mr Cameron has said the comment was a ‘total joke.’
He told BBC’s Test Match Special: “I said to an aide that I thought Yorkshiremen had it in for other people rather than each other, clearly as a joke.”
Mr Cameron sat with two Yorkshire cricketing legends to watch the match, including Barnsley legend Dickie Bird.
The prime minister said: “I’ve been absolved by two of the greatest living Yorkshiremen; Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird both agreed it was a joke.”
However some Sheffield residents did not find the comments amusing.
Aly Young said: “This shows this Government knows absolutely nothing about the north. Shambles.”
Tommy Mee added: “Just goes to show what the Tory hierarchy really think of us. Why any one would vote him and his cronies again is beyond me.”
But Tony Littler said: “Seems like it’s been taken out of context. I think it’s funny. Luckily for him we Yorkshire folk can take a joke.”