The former banking boss who is currently the centre of drug misuse allegations has strong local connections it has been revealed.
The Rev Paul Flowers’ father worked for Eastleigh Borough Council and Flowers himself was a student at Barton Peveril before becoming a Minister at Hedge End’s Methodist church in 1978.
The Reverend’s local ministry was cut short in May 1981 after he was caught having sex in the public toilet on Mortimer Road Botley and was convicted of indecency.
Flowers had also been elected as Vice Chairman of Eastleigh Labour Party and at the time was contesting Bishops Waltham in the county council elections.
After his conviction Flowers left the area and moved north but stayed active within the Labour and co- operative movement, winning a number of council seats.
Eventually he served 10 years as a councillor at Bradford but was forced to resign in 2010 after ‘inappropriate’ material was found on his council laptop.
He became as Chair of the Co Op bank in 2009, just after it had acquired the Britannia building society.
In 2012 the Co Op came to the rescue of Eastleigh Borough Council by agreeing to fund the construction of a planned £28 million hotel at the cricket ground after original backers Allied Irish Bank had pulled out.
By June this year though, the Co Op bank had lost £700 million and after a £1.5 billion hole was found in the balance sheet Flowers resigned from the board.
Last week Flowers was called before the Parliamentary Select Treasury Committee and questioned about the losses but just days after his appearance he was filmed in his car apparently arranging to buy cocaine and crystal meth and the story appeared in ‘The Mail on Sunday.
Following publication of the story Flowers was suspended from both the Labour party and the Methodist church pending further investigation.
Last October Flowers mother died and a memorial service for her was held at Chandler’s Ford Methodist church.
In a statement Flowers said:
“This year has been incredibly difficult, with a death in the family and the pressures of my role with the Cooperative 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.”