Published: 00:00, 30 August 2016
| Updated: 22:15, 30 August 2016
A mayor caught on camera snorting a substance in a toilet cubicle is refusing to resign as he says 'it could have been sherbet.'
Dover Town Council also says it is standing by Neil Rixdespite the shock video emerging last night.
The stance comes despite a call from a fellow councillor for Neil Rix to consider his position after the footage was uploaded to YouTube.
In an exclusive interview with KentOnline, Cllr Rix said he was the victim of a blackmail plot and that police were investigating.
He added: "The video forms part of a police investigation into the fact I am being blackmailed.
"It did not happen recently. I was set up, pushed into it and coerced.
"Someone had put drugs into my beer and I did not know I was being filmed."
He said that he would not be resigning as 'it could have been sherbet, Vim or icing sugar.'
He added: "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."
Asked if he would be resigning, he said: "No, I'm not at all. I'm not standing down.'
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But fellow town councillor Gordon Cowan said that Cllr Rix should consider his position as Mayor and town councillor.
He said: “This is a difficult situation and it is out of all councillors' hands. The only person that can really answer the question is Cllr Rix himself. I am sure he and the town council officials will be talking at some stage.
“But it is down to Cllr Rix as to how he deals with the issue.
“He has to ask himself can he continue in the role as Mayor and councillor but it is down to Cllr Rix to decide.
“The big question is do the people of Dover want someone representing them under these circumstances? He should take a serious look at his position."
Today Dover Town Council issued a brief statement saying: "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."
Cllr Rix, who runs a scaffolding firm, has been an elected member of Dover Town Council for nine years.
He was elected mayor in April this year by a casting vote and said at the time: "I want to bring Dover on a bit and try and make everyone work together and make Dover a better place - that’s the idea of it all."
The video, which lasts for one minute and seven seconds, was shot before Cllr Rix was appointed Mayor.
It shows him urging another man in the toilet to close the cubicle door before removing a package from his pocket.
He then appears to lean over the toilet cistern and snort a substance through a bank note.
Few others have wanted to comment on the explosive video.
When KentOnline rang Deputy Mayor Chris Precious to ask if he wanted to give a view he said: “Not at all.”
Fellow town councillor Alan Shirley also said no comment.
Another town councillor, Ann Jenner, told the Mercury."I have not seen this video so I do not want to comment."
Cllr Rix is an independent town councillor who became Mayor just last May.
At the Mayor Making ceremony he said: “I will endeavour to do my best in representing Dover and fulfill the duties required.”
In a statement on its website, Dover Town Council describes the position of Mayor as 'respected and held in high regard by the community because of its service to the community and the dignified behaviour of successive Mayors and Deputy Mayors.'
It adds: "A Mayor, by virtue of the Office, can use their position to stimulate community pride, encourage business, promote the voluntary sector and mould social cohesion.
"The Mayoralty can also be a front line focus for the expression of community concerns."
Cllr Rix is a businessman in charge of the NT Rix scaffolding company and represents Buckland ward, the area he was born in.
He has also formed the company Dover Demolition, which carried out the demolition of the town’s hated high rise Burlington House building in February.
Kent Police spokesman Sally Smith said:“Kent Police is aware of media coverage of a video circulating online reportedly relating to drug use. Officers will be making enquiries to establish the circumstances of the footage.”
In response to Cllr Rix’s claims about being blackmailed Ms Smith said:“We would not be able to confirm nor deny . As per our policies we never release details on a named individual that may or may not be subject to a crime.”
More developments and reaction as we get them.
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