Camden Council asked its waste contractor to remove homeless people's tents in “one of the darkest” events in the borough's history, it has been claimed.

Workers for Camden Council's waste contractor Veolia were filmed throwing a tent into a rubbish truck in Huntley Street, outside University College London Hospital, on November 11 after a joint operation by the hospital and police to remove rough sleepers from its land.

An initial investigation revealed "operational involvement" from the council, which arranged waste collection that removed tents pitched outside the hospital. The council’s rough sleeping support services were asked to help people affected.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan slammed the action as "appalling".

Now a senior councillor in neighbouring Haringey has stated a Veolia boss said Camden Council asked it to remove tents.

Cllr Tom Simon, who leads Camden's Liberal Democrat opposition, told a full council meeting on November 20 he was appalled.

He said: “The events of 10 November were one of the darkest in the history of Camden.

“That officers and contractors of this council were involved in the cruel dispersal of rough sleepers, some of the most vulnerable people in our borough, (the) destruction of belongings they possess was appalling.”

Cllr Simon said that in Haringey, councillors had been assured that waste contractor Veolia would not remove homeless people’s belongings without a request from a local authority.

In a letter to councillors, Haringey’s cabinet member for resident services and tackling inequality, Seema Chandwani, said: “I spoke to the UK managing director of Veolia yesterday and he wanted to reassure that Veolia have a clear policy not to remove belongings of homeless people without expressed written request from the council they work for.

“They were asked by Camden Council to do so in this case.”

Cllr Simon asked if the council had given express written permission for the removal of property.

He stressed the investigation should look at the council’s role in removing residents’ belongings and who made the decision to involve council officers. He also wanted to know about compensation for the destruction of residents’ property.

Conservative group leader Cllr Gio Spinella said it was crucial to find out what instructions council officers were given.

Acting council leader Cllr Pat Callaghan responded: “I want to make it clear these actions are the opposite of everything we stand for.”

She agreed: "It was a very dark day. We were horrified but we acted quickly.”

Cllr Callaghan pledged to make publice the report investigating what happened.

She said six of the eight affected rough sleepers have now been offered accommodation, adding: “We will continue to provide extensive support for those individuals.”

Cllr Callaghan said there will be compensation available and added “quite a bit of property was saved”.

A Veolia spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “For many years we have provided waste management and recycling services in the borough on behalf of, and under the strict supervision of, Camden Council – and the police when needed. This was the case in this instance.

“We follow all the procedures and requirements needed when it comes to removing sensitive items. We are working internally and with Camden Council to review how requests of this nature will be handled in the future.”