The Co-operative Group chairman Len Wardle has quit with immediate effect after “serious questions” were raised over the scandal surrounding former Co-op Bank chair Reverend Paul Flowers.
Treasury select committee MPs have also questioned how the “incompetent” Flowers managed to become chairman of a major bank.
Flowers is being replaced by Co-op Group deputy chair and chief executive of the Lincolnshire Co-operative Society Ursula Lidbetter.
Lidbetter will chair the group through the current governance review, which will include consideration of how the board is constituted and chaired.
Wardle said: “The recent revelations about the behaviour of Paul Flowers, the former chair of the Co-op Bank, have raised a number of serious questions for both the bank and the group. I led the board that appointed Paul Flowers to lead the bank board and under those circumstances I feel it is right that I step down now, ahead of my planned retirement in May next year.
“I have already made it clear I believe the time is right for real change in our operations and our governance and the board recently started a detailed review of our democracy. I hope the group now takes the chance to put in place a new democratic structure so we can modernise in the interests of all our members.”