Former chair of the Co-operative Bank, Paul Flowers has pleaded guilty to drug possession. During the hearing at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, he admitted drug possession for which he was fined £400 and ordered to pay £125 in costs.
Mr Flowers refused to answer any other questions to the waiting media outside court. He had earlier apologised for his behaviour, saying that stress and the loss of his mother pushed him to use drugs and added that he was seeking professional help for his drug addiction.
The former Bank boss, who stepped down in June last year, was filmed handing over £300 for drugs in a car in Leeds last November. Following the release of the footage by the Mail of Sunday, Mr Flowers was suspended by the Labour Party and the Methodist Church.
Prior to his appointment as the Bank chairman in April 2010, he had served as a Labour councillor in Bradford and on an informal board advising Ed Miliband on banking. A former trustee of the drugs charity Lifeline, Mr Flowers resigned in 2004 over false expense claims.
In November last year he gave evidence before the Parliament’s Treasury select committee where he was asked to discuss his role as the former chair of the Bank. Following his appearance, Andrew Tyre, chair of the committee said Mr Flowers was “manifestly unsuitable” to be chairman of a bank.
Also giving evidence before the Treasury select committee, former co-deputy chairmen of the Co-operative Bank, Rodney Baker-Bates and David Davies said Mr Flowers did not have the financial expertise to be the chair of the Bank and that he had been appointed for his leadership skills and better understanding of the complexity and the politics of the Co-operative Group.