Toronto’s conservative mayor Rob Ford is lashing out against reports he’s got a drinking problem, and it makes him prone to public drunkenness and embarrassing behavior.  Allies and the mayor’s brother are rising to his defense.

But the Toronto Star newspaper published two accounts of Ford’s behavior:  In one case, he was allegedly asked to leave a military gala because of concerns he was impaired.  A close ally of Ford’s admitted he asked the mayor to leave the event but would not specify as to why.

Several people told the paper, on condition of anonymity, that Ford appeared to “incoherent,” “stumbling,” “rambling,” “intoxicated,” “slurring,” “seemed to be drunk,” and “was nervous, excited, sweaty, out of it.”

At another event, a rival politician in the Canadian metropolis posted a photo on her Facebook page, with the caption stating she wanted to “punch him in the face” for allegedly groping her and making inappropriate comments.

The Star also quotes nameless senior Tories who question Ford’s fitness.

Allies including Ford's brother who is a Toronto Councillor, claim they’ve never seen Mayor Ford take a drink or appear to be drunk.