Co-op Bank’s ex-chairman exposed as crystal methodist

Tim Wallace
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THE CO-OP Bank’s former chairman was yesterday suspended from his position as a Methodist minister after being exposed buying crystal meth and cocaine.

Reverend Paul Flowers chaired the self-styled ethical lender until June this year when he resigned as the bank’s £1.5bn capital hole became clear. He appeared before the Treasury Committee of MPs last week and was criticised for lacking financial experience.

But MPs do not expect to recall him to give more evidence on the Co-op Bank’s failings, telling City A.M. Flowers is simply unable to shed any further light on events at the lender.

“The Reverend was a thoroughly inadequate witness – he was either economical with the truth or plain incompetent. Judging by his testimony he was a bit of both,” said David Ruffley, a member of the committee. “I doubt recalling him will shed much light on the catastrophic mis-management of the bank.”

Flowers was exposed in a video by the Mail on Sunday showing him paying £300 for crystal meth and cocaine. The ex-chairman also tried to buy ketamine and sent texts boasting of cannabis and GHB use.

Flowers yesterday apologised.

“This year has been incredibly difficult, with a death in the family and the pressures of my role with the Co-operative Bank. At the lowest point in this terrible period, I did things that were stupid and wrong,” he said in a statement. “I am sorry for this and I am seeking professional help.” The Methodist Church has suspended the Bradford-based minister for three weeks to investigate. The Co-op declined to comment.