The leader of Stevenage Borough Council has criticised a "silly, cheap, stereotypical jibe" made about the town on BBC One's Have I Got News For You on Friday, inviting the presenter who made the disparaging remark to "come and see us".

Comedian Jon Richardson, who was hosting the satirical news quiz, was referring to the panic amongst air passengers landing at Gatwick Airport who had spotted a prankster's sign saying 'Welcome to Luton.'

He said: "Obviously, it goes without saying we are not taking cheap shots at the people of Luton. Many people would be delighted to see a 'Welcome to Luton' sign, particularly if you've just left Stevenage."

Stevenage Borough Council leader, Sharon Taylor, tweeted: "You are better than silly, cheap, stereotypical jibes about our town Jon. We are proud of our home, where ‘the heart of a town lies in its people’. Come and see us and don’t play to the sneery metropolitan crowd."