The Conservative leader of Birmingham City Council has rounded on his critics, describing them as self-appointed Jeremiahs whose outspoken criticism was unfair and unwarranted.
Mike Whitby was breaking his silence following a series of attacks on his leadership from elements of the business community.
Coun Whitby (Harborne) said high-profile personalities, including CBI director general Sir Digby Jones, were engaging in "saloon bar tittle-tattle" and helping to reinforce prejudicial stereotypes about Birmingham.
Their remarks would be seized upon by London journalists who were eager to do-down Birmingham, he added.
Sir Digby hit out earlier this month at the council's failure to deliver major improvements to New Street Station.
Asked if he had spoken to Sir Digby since the row over New Street blew up, Coun Whitby said he had not, adding: "But the people who really matter to this city I talk to regularly."
Sir Digby had accused the council's Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, led by Coun Whitby, of talking too much and achieving too little.
The frustration felt by the business community was summed up by Neil Maybury, chairman of Birmingham Business Focus, who in a letter to The Birmingham Post described Coun Whitby's administration as a "mess".
Mr Maybury also highlighted the failure to deliver the redevelopment of New Street Station.
Coun Whitby believes his critics are unrepresentative of the wider Birmingham business community.
He said he had received scores of letters of support from chief executives following publication of Sir Digby's comments.
Coun Whitby said: "I find it incredible, unbelievable actually, that national figures do not understand the complexities of putting together funding packages to deliver schemes like New Street.
"We are working hard with a number of partners, but delivering this project is not in the gift solely of the council.
"I have actually done more toward securing New Street in 15 months than was achieved in the previous 15 years.
"We now have £200 million committed toward a new station, whereas before June 2004 there was only £10 million allocated," he added.