THE Co-op Group has apologised to Congress Presidential candidate Sylvia Jones (right) and to the society's Wales and Borders Regional Board after nominating Mrs Jones, then voting for Iain Macdonald in the election.
Richard Hall from Wales & Borders asked the main board to explain how it came to support Mr Macdonald after originally nominating another candidate. He said the Group were guilty of a failure of judgement and had appeared to be disorganised and shambolic over the issue.
He said: "What's the point of the board's nomination if they don't have the guts to support the candidate with their vote."
Replying for the Group board, Simon Butler said regional boards had been invited to submit nominations last autumn. As a result, nominations were received for Mrs Jones, who was backed by Wales & Borders Region, South East and South West and for Mr Macdonald, who was supported by Scottish Region. Following a vote by the Group board last December, the society agreed to nominate Mrs Jones.
Said Mr Butler: "When the voting papers were issued, it was agreed in line with the practice for other elections that 20 per cent of the votes would be cast by the Group board with the remaining being cast by the regions and allocated to them in proportion to their size."
Mr Butler explained that, in March, the Group board considered how to cast its votes and opted to support Mr Macdonald, who was ultimately elected President.
He said: "The Group board is aware that nominating one candidate and voting for another has caused concern and upset to Wales and Border Region and regrets that this may have caused offence to Sylvia and the regional board."