A council leader has described the behaviour of a political leader towards the mayor at a council meeting last night as "shocking".

Hertsmere Borough Council leader Cllr Morris Bright has slammed the "abusive attack" by Labour leader Cllr Jeremy Newmark on mayor of Hertsmere, Cllr Alan Plancey.

Cllr Newmark says he has the "utmost respect" for Cllr Plancey but said recent council meetings have "demonstrated issues around the level of professionalism in how they are conducted".

The council met last night for an extraordinary council meeting to debate recommendations made within an audit report focusing on the governance of council-owned Elstree Studios.

The internal audit report published in July concluded there were "weaknesses in controls" at the studios after a freedom of information request by the Labour party revealed Cllr Bright, who is chairman of the studios, and his Tory party had to pay back the studios thousands of pounds in wrongly claimed expenses.

Read more: Leaked audit reveals 'weaknesses in controls' at Elstree Studios

The meeting was always going to be explosive but after an hour of strong debate, Cllr Plancey called the meeting to an abrupt end.

Cllr Plancey had been subjected to what Cllr Bright describes as behaviour "no mayor had ever had to deal with before".

Cllr Bright, who could not be present in the chamber due to a declaration of interest and instead watched the session unfold via video link, said: "Cllr Newmark called Cllr Plancey's impartiality into question. He called for a no confidence vote in the mayor. He did not sit down when he was asked to. He was shouting and pointing.

"The behaviour was absolutely shocking. He seemed crazed. The mayor didn't deserve that. To treat a man, a Rabbi, with such an illustrious past like that was totally unacceptable. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

Cllr Bright called for the Labour leader to apologise directly to Cllr Plancey.

WATCH: Cllr Plancey loses patience with Cllr Newmark

Cllr Newmark had become frustrated with the Tory mayor, for what he believed to be bias towards the Tories during the debate, including saying he had referred to them as "us".

He said: "I’ve got the utmost respect for Cllr Plancey and the work he does in his current role as mayor but what I saw last night was a very clear demonstration that we need a serious review of ways council meetings are chaired.

"We need to look at having an independent chair. Meetings have demonstrated issues around the level of professionalism of which they are conducted."

He says it is his role to be loud and vocal.

Cllr Newmark added: "It is my job to provide the opposition. At Hertsmere, in a situation where we have to fight tooth and nail for accountability, our mission is to leave no stone unturned to achieve that. The council benefits from a robust opposition."

The Labour leader said Cllr John Graham's antics to prevent debate on two amendments was the Tories "closing down democracy" saying it prevented the opposition from "holding the Tories to account" with regards to the findings within the audit report.

The Labour party had submitted three amendments to a motion which were to set a date of April 2020 to deal with all matters arising from the audit report, to appoint two additional directors, each from Labour and Lib Dems to the currently Tory-dominated film studios board by December, and appoint a new independent chairman to the board.

But Cllr Bright said the proposed amendments were a "stunt".

He said: "The meeting was the first opportunity to see these amendments. Labour had five weeks to let us know about the amendments. This was a manipulation of the council process, a stunt, but Cllr Graham saw through it and used council procedure rules to take it to a vote immediately, so we can have more time to consider what is being put before us."

Cllr Newmark said he "wasn't surprised" the amendments were voted down but said it left him with "serious concerns" on whether he can "seriously trust" that the council will move forward with the report's recommendations, which have already been agreed by the council's Executive committee.

Read more: Executive agree to recommendations of audit report

Some of the recommendations include a new expenses policy and to ban any political activity from council-owned property.

The Lib Dems collectively called to an end to the "mudslinging" seen within the council chamber.

Both Labour and the Lib Dems have submitted a requisition for another extraordinary council meeting to discuss the "serious issues that have emerged with the democratic process at the council".