Co-op peer and former CWS Chairman, Lord Fyfe, dies at 69

A former Midlands Society Chief Executive and ex-Chairman of the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), who went on to become a Labour/Co-op peer, has died at the age of...

Lord Fyfe of Fairfield — ‘Len’ to hundreds of Co-op friends and colleagues — spent a lifetime in the Movement and was Congress President in 2001.

He was also a member of the 2000/2001 Co-operative Commission, under the chairmanship of the then General Secretary of the TUC, John Monks, which is widely credited with shaping the recent ‘co-operative renaissance’.

As well as being CEO of Midlands Society and Chairman of CWS (now known as the Co-operative Group), Lord Fyfe was a former director of the Co-operative Bank and CIS and, more recently, was Chairman of Unity Trust Bank.

Willie Tucker, his successor as Midlands Co-op Chief Executive, saluted the contribution of one of the Movement’s best known figures.

"Len was a man of great ability and a huge credit to the Movement," he said. "He was the youngest Co-op Chief Executive when appointed by the former Leicestershire Society and was a keen driver for change and modernisation." 

Mr Tucker, now Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, added: "Len was always independent of mind and action and was never shy at airing his views in a forthright manner. He loved the debates in the House of Lords and always spoke well."

• Lord Fyfe’s funeral will be on Friday February 11th (1.30pm) at Gilrose Crematorium, Groby Road, Leicester, LE3 9QG. Family flowers only. For further funeral information contact Robert Pilbrow on 0116 270 3111. Donations in lieu if desired to NSPCC, Third Floor, CIBA Building, 146 Hagley Road, Birmingham, B16 9NX. A full obituary of Lord Fyfe of Fairfield will appear in the next edition of the printed edition of Co-operative News, which will be published on February 15th.

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