US & Canada

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he is 'not a drug addict'

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Media captionToronto Mayor Rob Ford said, "I am not perfect"

Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has denied that he is a drug addict as he returned to work amid calls for him to resign over drug use rumours.

Mr Ford is under pressure after Canadian police revealed they had recovered a video appearing to show him smoking from a crack cocaine pipe.

On Monday, he said in an interview he was "not a drug addict". He has called for police to release the video.

He said he would not resign and vowed to run for re-election next year.

"If I had a problem, I'd be the first one to say I'm not fit to run the city," he said during a local radio interview on Monday.

The mayor added that while he enjoys "a few cocktails", he was "not an alcoholic".

"Have I drank a little too much at times? You're absolutely right," he said. "Am I going to curb that? Absolutely I'm going to curb that."

During a separate radio programme on Sunday, Mr Ford said he had "made mistakes", including being drunk in public at a street festival in August.

"I sincerely, sincerely apologise to my family, to the citizens, to taxpayers of this great city," he said. "I am going to fight like no-one has seen before to win the next election" in October 2014.

Last week, Mr Ford rejected calls from Toronto city councillors to step down. Four major Toronto daily newspapers have called for him to quit.

Mystery video

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Media captionToronto Mayor Rob Ford ordered the press to leave his property last week

Last week, Canadian police said they had recovered a video from a deleted hard drive that appeared to show Mr Ford smoking from a crack pipe.

Police have not revealed details of the mobile phone video footage but say it is consistent with previous descriptions from media organisations that had viewed it.

Reports initially surfaced in May of the video's existence, but it has never been released publicly.

Police have not filed criminal charges against Mr Ford in connection with the video.

Reports of the video's existence triggered a wide police investigation into the mayor and his associates, including a friend and occasional driver Alexander "Sandro" Lisi.

Mr Lisi has been charged with marijuana trafficking and possession. Police said on Thursday he faced an additional charge of extortion in relation to the video.

Police have said they expect the video will come out when Mr Lisi goes to trial.

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