The Mayor of Dover has said he will not resign after being filmed snorting a substance inside a toilet cubicle.
A video posted on YouTube shows Neil Rix saying “don’t let anyone come… don’t want anyone seeing Councillor Rix doing this”.
He told the BBC it was six or seven years ago: “I was drunk. I was stitched up. I was being blackmailed.”
He has referred himself to the district council’s monitoring officer for a possible breach of the code of conduct.
A Dover Town Council spokesman said: “We are taking this matter very seriously… there may be a criminal investigation, but this is a matter for the police.”
‘Could have been sherbet’
Mr Rix insisted he was “dead against” drug taking and did not know what the substance was.
“It could have been sherbet for all I know,” he added.
“People were putting stuff in my drink. I was being blackmailed. I’m glad it’s out in the open.”
The independent councillor admitted he had been caught on camera but could not remember where it was and said he would not be resigning.
He said: “I’m not standing down.
“I just feel I have let down my family but I will get over it. I have had a lot of support from friends and family, people that know me.”
An earlier statement from the council said: “We are aware of a video being posted on YouTube of Neil Rix, town mayor of Dover.
“The video and the circumstances in which it has been posted are ambiguous.
“We will not allow the current speculation to stand in the way of the work of the mayor and Dover Town Council.”
Fellow independent councillor Graham Wanstall said: “If there are genuine questions to be asked, the mayor should answer them.
“But if he’s not accused of anything, it’s – at this stage in my opinion – not a matter of resigning as far as I can see.”
Ann Jenner, a Conservative councillor on Dover Town Council, added: “Somebody’s been digging up something, which I think is a shame.
“I’m sure there’s other people that have done it, and everybody’s got skeletons in their cupboard.”
Kent Police said officers would be making enquiries to establish the circumstances of the footage but would not confirm nor deny any information about blackmail.
Councillor Rix took over as town mayor for Dover in May 2016. He was born and grew up in Dover, where he runs a scaffolding and demolition company.