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Former Co-op boss Paul Flowers admits using crystal meth and cocaine

Arriving at Leeds Magistrates Court - Paul Flowers Credit: PA Pictures

Disgraced former Co-operative Bank boss Paul Flowers has admitted possessing drugs including cocaine and crystal meth.

The minister, dubbed the Crystal Methodist, appeared before magistrates in Leeds where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of class A drugs - cocaine and methamphetamine - and one count of possession of class C drug ketamine

He was fined £400 and ordered to pay £125 costs after being arrested in Merseyside.

Flowers, 63, stepped down as the Co-op Bank's chairman in June after claims of illegal drug use and inappropriate expenses payments.

He was also suspended by the Methodist Church and the Labour Party.

The Manchester-based Co-op confirmed last year that it was seeking to recover contractual payments totalling £31,000 made to Flowers amid reports that he was also the subject of an inquiry into "lavish" expense claims.

Flanked by minders - Paul Flowers Credit: PA Pictures

Flowers arrived at court before the doors had been unlocked, leaving him to stand on the street for five minutes surrounded by photographers and TV cameras.

He said: "Don't ask me any questions because I won't give any answers."

He repeated his description of the mass of reporters and photographers as "vultures" as he stood and endured a barrage of flash photography, eventually saying: "Do you have enough now?"

Court staff opened the doors at 9am and let the pinstripe-suited clergyman into the building.

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UPDATE: Former Co-op boss Paul Flowers pleads guilty to possessing drugs

Paul Flowers arrives at court in Leeds Credit: PA Pictures

Disgraced former Co-operative Bank boss Paul Flowers has admitted possessing drugs including cocaine and crystal meth.

The minister, dubbed the Crystal Methodist, appeared before magistrates in Leeds where he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of class A drugs - cocaine and methamphetamine - and one count of possession of class C drug ketamine.

Flowers, 63, stepped down as the Manchester-based Co-op Bank's chairman in June amid claims of illegal drug use and inappropriate expenses payments.

He was also suspended by the Methodist Church and the Labour Party.

Co-op set to post huge losses

The Co-operative Group which was founded in Rochdale is expected to post losses as high as £2.5 billion as it faces more pain from the biggest crisis in its history.

Former City minister Lord Myners, who has drawn up proposals for a major reform of the business, pinned the blame for the disastrous figures on former managers "who were allowed to run amok like kids in a sweet shop".

He said in an article in the Daily Mirror: "They bought up businesses willy-nilly - from Britannia Building Society to Somerfield supermarkets - and made catastrophically inept decisions over and over again. In the process they crippled the group with huge debt."

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