Paul Flowers Co-op

Former Co-op Bank chairman Paul Flowers was arrested by police today

Paul Flowers, the former deputy chairman of The Co-operative Group and chairman of The Co-operative Bank, reportedly resigned from The Group because of concerns over his expenses.

Flowers left his roles at the society in June, but earlier this week a film emerged of him allegedly buying class A drugs.

Flowers resigned his deputy chair role at The Co-op Group after concerns were raised over his “excessive” use of expenses, according to the BBC.

He joined the board of The Co-op Group in 2008 and was appointed to The Co-op Bank board in 2009.

Yesterday, the society revealed it has asked Flowers to hand back £31,000 that it paid him after severing his contract early.

“When Paul Flowers relinquished his responsibilities in June, it was agreed, as per his contractual obligations, that his fees for the rest of his period of office would be paid,” the society said in a statement.

“Following recent revelations, the board stopped all payments with immediate effect and no further payments will be made,” it added.

It also emerged this morning that Flowers has been arrested in connection with a “drugs supply investigation”.

In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said: “Officers have arrested a 63-year-old man in the Merseyside area in connection with an ongoing drugs supply investigation.

“He has been taken to a police station in West Yorkshire where detectives will continue their enquiries.”


17 November: The Mail on Sunday releases film of Flowers allegedly buying class A drugs

18 November: The Co-operative Group launches a “fact-finding process to look into any inappropriate behaviour at The Co-operative Group or The Co-operative Bank”. It also launches a “root and branch review of the democratic structure of the organisation”.

19 November: Co-op Group chairman Len Wardle, who was to step down in May, leaves with immediate effect saying:“ Iled the board that appointed Paul Flowers to lead the Bank board and under those circumstances I feel that it is right that I step down now.” Group deputy chair and CEO of Lincolnshire Co-operative Society, Ursula Lidbetter, replaces him.

20 November: David Cameron calls for an inquiry into what happened at The Co-op bank and why Flowers was appointed chairman.

21 November: Co-op Group asks for return of £31,000.

See the complete timeline of The Co-op Bank crisis