Co-operative activist Stuart Ramsay has been removed from the board of the Co-operative Group.
A brief statement from the society said he had left the board at the request of fellow directors following the release of an independent report.
The report, from private investigators Kroll, was commissioned by the Group following a series of leaks in March that led to the resignation of chief executive Euan Sutherland. Media leaks included confidential board documents about executive pay and the intention to sell off the farms and pharmacy divisions.
However, an article in the Financial Times said Mr Ramsay “was involved in the dissemination of information outside the board room that was intended for the board only, rather than a direct media leak”.
Mr Ramsay, who has been involved in the Group for over 25 years, was the elected representative of the Scotland and Northern Ireland region and has held a seat on the Inverness and Moray committee since its inception. He was due to stand down from the Group board at the annual meeting in May after opting not to stand for re-election.
He has served on the board since 2009 and sat on the specialist business board, which is responsible for farms, pharmacy and funerals. In his address at a previous election to the area committee, Mr Ramsay said: “We are a consumer co-operative and exist for the benefit of our members – this is something very dear to my heart.”
He was also a representative on the Co-operative Party national executive committee, a seat held on behalf of the Co-operative Group that he now forfeits.
The news follows the suspension of Group director Munir Malik, who joined the board last May and is a member of the south east region.
Mr Malik is alleged to have erroneously claimed he was a chartered accountant, according to an article published in the Guardian.
The Labour councillor in the London borough of Bexley also sits on the Group’s specialist business board, as well as on the values and principles board.
A statement from the Group said: “Munir Malik is currently suspended as a director of the Co-operative Group pending the outcome of a board investigation in relation to the qualifications stated in his election materials.”
Both Mr Ramsay and Mr Malik were unavailable for comment.