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This afternoon, Mayor Rob Ford will address reports about his use of drugs and alcohol, his association with alleged criminals and a video that appears to show him smoking from a crack pipe.

Here’s what he should say:

For the past few months questions about my personal conduct have overshadowed the important business of Toronto.

And while I would love to continue doing the work the people of Toronto elected me to do, the controversy surrounding these issues has made it impossible for me to do so. It is for this reason that I have made the difficult decision today to take a six week leave of absence to deal with my personal health issues, to own up to the mistakes I have made and to clear my name related to more serious allegations. Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly has offered to step in and act as mayor during my leave of absence and I would like to thank him for his support.

I believe I am an honest man, but I have not been completely honest for these past few months

I have misled my family. I have misled my children. I have misled my mother and my brother Councillor Doug Ford. I have misled city council and the media and the people of Toronto. I have misled my faithful supporters in Ford Nation.

And for this I am deeply sorry.

I can and will do better. I am eager to return to the mayor’s office and do the work the people of Toronto elected me to do.

I also have a request to the news media. Please give my family some space during this difficult time.

There are many questions I need to answer publicly. And over the next few months I will answer all of them. But in order to do this, I need to put my health and my family first. 

After this meeting, I will be meeting with the Toronto Police Service and I will do my best to honestly answer all the questions they have for me. After that I will meet with my family to make a decision together on the best way for me to deal with my personal health issues. 

I want to express thanks to my family, my friends and my supporters.

I will now turn the rest of this radio broadcast over to Acting Mayor Norm Kelly so that the city can get back to business.