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Co-op Group chairman quits after ‘serious questions’ over drugs scandal

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.

Wardle was set to leave next May but has now resigned with immediate effect following allegations published in the Mail on Sunday that Flowers bought crystal meth and crack cocaine.

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.”


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. It could have been worse.

    Barclays employed some bloke called Sants

  2. Err, hang on. Flowers knew nothing about banking. And the new Chair, Ursula Lidbetter knows nothing about banking either apart from establishing (not running) a credit union.

    Lessons learned there by all and sundry.

    You give up, you really do.

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