A vote in favour of reforming the Co-operative Group is a step in the right direction, the Business Secretary has said, after its members voted "unanimously" for the overhaul.
Vince Cable said: "Lord Myners has identified the key problem of governance and ensuring a consumer base of millions is democratically represented in ways that ensure professional, competent management.
"It is in this latter area that the Co-op has fallen short and why radical solutions are needed to get the Co-op back on track."
The Co-operative has said 100 percent of votes were cast in favour of the resolution to overhaul the group. Speaking to reporters, Co-operative Group chair Ursula Lidbetter announced that its members had voted "unanimously" in favour of returning it to financial health.
The vote for reform of the Co-operative Group is a welcome step in the right direction, the national officer of the Unite union said, after members voted in favour of a major overhaul of the board. Adrian Jones said he hoped it would put the group on the road to stability:
Going forward it is vital that our members and employees have a voice in the reform process for it to succeed and ensure the Co-op Group has a fighting chance while retaining its unique values and ethos.
Members of the Co-operative Group have voted in favour of a shake-up over the way it is run. Detailed reforms including rule changes will still have to voted on at a later date and will require at least 66 percent support. The four point resolution has called for:
The creation of a board of directors ''qualified to lead an organisation of the size and complexity of the Co-operative Group''.
A move to the concept of ''one member one vote'', but with ''appropriate representation'' for the Co-op's independent societies.
Establishment of a separate structure which will give the group's eight million members powers to hold the board to account for the performance of the business and ''adherence to co-operative values and principles''.
Rules to protect against any ending of the group's mutual status.
The Co-operative Bank should make its own decisions over its own affairs, the Labour leader has said following a vote in favour of major reforms that could see the group's eight million members given powers to hold the board to account for the performance of the business.
Speaking during his campaign for the upcoming local and European elections, Ed Miliband said: "Clearly we want a healthy banking system including a healthy Co-op bank but these issues are a matter for the shareholders and the people who run the Co-op".
The chair of the Co-operative Group says the unanimous vote in favour of wide-ranging reforms as a "highly significant moment" for the mutual, which slumped to £2.5 billion annual losses after a period of crisis.
Ursula Lidbetter said: "I am delighted that our members have made clear their commitment to far-reaching reform of our governance with this unanimous vote.
"There is a huge task ahead of us if we are to deliver the reforms necessary to restore the Group's reputation and return it to health but the board will work hand-in-hand with our members to ensure that we seize this opportunity.
"It is vital that the right changes are put in place as soon as possible to build a more effective organisation for our members, customers and colleagues."
Britain's biggest union has welcomed the vote for reform of the troubled mutual.
Adrian Jones, national officer of Unite, said: "The vote for reform is a welcome step in the right direction and one which we hope will put the Co-op Group on the road to stability.
"Going forward it is vital that our members and employees have a voice in the reform process for it to succeed and ensure the Co-op Group has a fighting chance while retaining its unique values and ethos."