Cripes! I see Bertie Biggles over on Thanet Strife has been forced to scotch a rumour that the next Mayor of Margate was involved in a contretemps at the opening night of the new Rokka bar in the town last December.
Tory but ex-Labour councillor (where have I heard that before?) Ted Watt-Ruffell was rumoured to have been involved in an argument at the door on the night, and to have threatened to make life difficult for Rokka after he was refused entry. Rokka subsequently had their licence called in, and were forced to shut for two weeks while they re-applied.
That a man 'claiming to be a councillor' turned up 'drunk and disorderly' and 'extremely abusive' is not in doubt, as the redoubtable Bertie has published a letter from the owner of Rokka, Nick Panteli, to Cllr W-R confirming the fact. Nor is the fact that this mysterious 'councillor' departed 'muttering there would be repercussions'. However, Mr Panteli goes on to explain:
After looking at our CCTV there did appear to be some resemblance however I was still not convinced. Having never met you, I decided to discuss the issue with Sandy Ezekiel, he assured me you were not in the area at the time, do not drink and that you are a strict Methodist. Sandy is a family friend held in high regard and his comments were enough to convince us that maybe we were indeed pointing the finger at the wrong man.
However it does appear your name has been tarnished by association and for this I offer our wholehearted apologies. It was never our intention to bring this into the public domain in this manner.
I can categorically state that I am satisfied that Councillor Watt-Ruffell had nothing to do with the sequence of events that transpired following the opening weekend of Rokka Margate and that he was not the gentleman who was refused entry.
So that clears that up then, thanks to a quick chat with Our Glorious Council Leader, who has himself been up before the Standards wallahs twice for, er, less than moderate behaviour!
For some reason, Bertie has disallowed comments on his item. But that doesn't mean you can't comment here (as long as you keep it clean and legal). For example, can anyone confirm that Cllr W-R is a teetotaller and a strict Methodist? Were you at Rokka on the opening night, and if so, what did you see? And if the mystery 'councillor' wasn't W-R, then who was it?
If this chap's going to be Mayor of Margate, I think we should be told!