Former chair of Co-operative Bank resigns as trustee of the Terrence Higgins Trust

The HIV and sexual health charity announces the departure of the Reverend Paul Flowers, who was filmed by a newspaper allegedly buying hard drugs

The Rev Paul Flowers
The Rev Paul Flowers

The former chair of the Co-operative Bank has resigned as a trustee of the Terrence Higgins Trust after being filmed by a newspaper allegedly buying hard drugs.

A statement from the HIV and sexual health charity, published yesterday, said that the Reverend Paul Flowers, a Methodist minister, had stepped down on Saturday from his role on the charity’s board.

His decision comes after the Mail on Sunday newspaper published a video of Flowers apparently counting out money so that an acquaintance could buy cocaine.

A Terrence Higgins Trust spokeswoman said: "I confirm that Reverend Paul Flowers has stepped down from his role as trustee, a position he has held for just under two years. We cannot make any further comment at this time."

The charity said Flowers joined the charity’s board of trustees in 2011 and was unpaid.

He has also been suspended from his role as a minister in the Methodist Church. A spokesman for the church said: "We expect high standards of our ministers and we have procedures in place for when ministers fail to meet those standards.

"Paul is suspended from duties for a period of three weeks, pending investigations, and will not be available to carry out any ministerial work. We will also work with the police if they feel a crime has been committed."

In a statement released by the church, Flowers said: "This year has been incredibly difficult, with a death in the family and the pressures of my role with the Co-operative Bank. At the lowest point in this terrible period, I did things that were stupid and wrong. I am sorry for this, and I am seeking professional help, and apologise to all I have hurt or failed by my actions."

Flowers was chair of the Co-operative Bank between April 2010 and June this year. The bank unveiled a rescue plan earlier this month to deal with a £1.5bn hole in its balance sheet.

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