19 Nov 2013

Toronto's mayor loses more powers

7:43 pm on 19 November 2013

Councillors in the Canadian city of Toronto have stripped further powers from its mayor, Rob Ford, who's admitted smoking crack cocaine and drinking heavily but refuses to step down.

In a raucous debate on Monday they overwhelmingly approved measures to downgrade his authority.

Most of Mr Ford's budget and many of his powers have been transferred to the deputy mayor.

Mr Ford, 44, who has promised to fight the council's decisions, criticised the vote as a "coup d'etat", the BBC reports.

He's faced intense pressure to resign after admitting to smoking crack cocaine. In recent weeks he has also acknowledged buying illegal drugs while serving as mayor.

Mr Ford abstained from Monday's vote but promised "outright war" in the next election against the councillors who opposed him.

"What's happening here today is not a democratic process, this is a dictatorship," he told councillors. "You are absolutely telling everybody that voted in the last municipal election that their vote does not count."

Mr Ford refused to apologise, saying he had done enough apologising already, reports the BBC. "I've admitted my mistakes," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and go on and on and on."

Earlier in the heated council meeting, Mr Ford ran through the gallery, accidentally knocking over a councillor, Pam McConnell, before catching her. Ms McConnell was later seen holding ice to her lip.