Co-op demands Paul Flowers repays £31,000

Tim Wallace
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THE CO-OP yesterday asked disgraced former director Reverend Paul Flowers to repay the £31,000 he received from the group in the second half of 2013.

And the chief executive of a drugs charity said Flowers had resigned as a trustee of the body after questions were raised about his expenses claims.

Reverend Flowers, dubbed the Crystal Methodist for his use of hard drugs including crack cocaine and crystal meth, was still paid by the Co-op after leaving his job chairing the bank because he had been elected by members to the Co-op Group’s board for several more years.

He quit his £70,000 per year job as bank chairman in the summer when a £1.5bn capital hole was revealed at the lender.

But his term as Co-op Group director was not set to expire until 2015, so he was paid £31,000 after leaving the banking role – the second instalment of his £62,000 annual pay as a non-executive for the group.

After Flowers’ drug use was unveiled this week, the group has asked him to repay that second instalment. It has no legal right to the money, but it hopes he will give it back in the wake of the reputational damage his behaviour has caused the group.

Flowers apologised for his behaviour on Sunday.

He has not issued any statement since.

He is being investigated by the police, while the Prime Minister has announced his intention to launch an investigation into the Co-op Bank’s finances and governance.