10/09/2014 09:27 EDT | Updated 12/09/2014 05:59 EST

John Tory ditches debate over Goldkind snub

John Tory has pulled out of a Toronto mayoral debate upon learning contender Ari Goldkind was dropped at the behest of Doug Ford. 

"I was disappointed to learn this evening that due to the strong-arm tactics of the Ford campaign Ari Goldkind was disinvited from tomorrow's debate,” Tory said in a statement Thursday evening. 

Tory said he was “very disappointed in Ford’s behaviour.” 

“Doug Ford does not get to dictate the rules and disinvite confirmed candidates from debates,” Tory added. 

Goldkind, a former fringe candidate who, polls suggest, is now in fourth place in the race for city hall, announced via Twitter had been dropped from the Inner City Union event, one of two debates scheduled for Friday. 

“I don't know what to say right now about what's going on. Stunned,” he wrote. 

Goldkind later confirmed to CBC News that organizers told him he was dropped at Ford’s request. 

Goldkind and Ford have crossed swords a number of times in recent weeks. The noted defence attorney has, at prior debates, attacked Ford’s record and that of his incumbent brother, most recently when he brought up Mayor Rob Ford’s previous use of an anti-Semetic slur. 

Doug Ford, meanwhile, has questioned why the long-shot candidate has been allowed to take part in debates.