Co-op director quits after claims

A director of the troubled Co-operative group who was being investigated over claims about his qualifications made in election materials has left the mutual, it was announced tonight.

The Co-op faces a vote on reform plans by former City minister Lord Myners
The Co-op faces a vote on reform plans by former City minister Lord Myners

Munir Malik is the second member of the board to leave with immediate effect in less than a month, after the departure of Stuart Ramsay following a separate probe into high-level leaks.

The announcement comes at a critical time for the group as it faces a vote at its annual general meeting this weekend on reform plans by former City minister Lord Myners, which he says are crucial to its future.

Mr Malik, a Labour councillor in Bexley, south east London, had previously been suspended from the Co-op board pending the investigation.

The group said: "At the request of the board, Munir Malik has left the board of the Co-operative group with immediate effect."

A member of the mutual's South East region, Mr Malik joined the group board in May 2013, according to its website. It also stated that he was director of its specialist businesses board and had been appointed to its "values and principles" board.

Mr Malik could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Co-op announced the departure of Mr Ramsay two weeks ago, following an investigation into high-level leaks.

It came after former chief executive Euan Sutherland walked out in March following the disclosure to a Sunday newspaper about his £3.66 million pay package.

Lord Myners has urged the Co-op to back radical reforms that will sweep away the "dysfunctional" board which presided over a disastrous period when it reported a record annual loss of £2.5 billion and its banking arm nearly collapsed.