Disgraced bank boss has local links


Paul Flowers

Paul Flowers before Treasury Select Committee

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.”


  17 comments for “Disgraced bank boss has local links

  1. November 20, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Do we really need to know this man has local links, it brings shame on the town.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      November 20, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      There can’t be many Barton Peveril students who have gone on to head a bank with £47 billion worth of assetts

      • renard
        November 20, 2013 at 11:20 pm

        . . . or who have conducted themselves in such a disgraceful and hypocritical manner over many years.

      • Jane Ward
        November 22, 2013 at 2:08 pm

        I knew paul at Barton Peveril school, methodist church and youth club for many years and am not at all surprised by any of this………..

  2. Sue
    November 20, 2013 at 8:42 am

    So basically this guy has had a persecuted and difficult past due to being gay? No doubt all that has had a knock on effect on his current life. He bought drugs? He got caught and he resigned. Seems to me it’s end of story and actually a far less disturbing story than that of the Bullingdon Club and those currently running the country in the highest positions!

    • John Renard
      November 20, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      Where is the evidence that he ‘has had a persecuted and difficult past due to being gay’?
      He was prosecuted for committing gross indecency with a man in a public toilet. That’s not persecution, it’s justice. I don’t want my son (or me) to witness that sort of behaviour when using a public toilet.
      Lord Soper, another methodist, was a character witness, giving an astonishing and disgusting excuse for this vile behaviour. And, of course, Flowers was allowed to continue preaching morality to his ‘flock’. Persecution?
      When the council discovered loads of filthy porn on his council-owned laptop, it was hushed up. He was simply allowed to quietly resign. And, of course, he was allowed to continue preaching morality. Persecution?
      More recently, he has admitted (after being found out) to serial drug abuse to fuel what he himself called ‘gay orgies’ with rent boys – young men who more properly he should have been protecting.

      Sue, her leftie views obvious from her post, might consider all this behaviour acceptable – most decent people do not.

      After each disgraceful episode, Flowers has offered the same excuse of ‘going through a difficult time’. Some of us have gone through extremely difficult times, but we didn’t behave as he did.

      • Sue
        November 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

        a lot of people believed at the time that he was set up re the toilet incident. The porn he had was all legal. I am not so sure that he ever “preached morality” in the way which is inferred by the above. I also think that conflating “leftie views” with thoughts/actions and such which are not “decent” is ——————————————–

        • renard
          November 21, 2013 at 1:18 pm

          My apologies, Sue.
          I hadn’t realised that the hundreds of filthy gay pictures this poor persecuted Methodist minister had downloaded onto his council-owned laptop were merely ‘legal porn’.
          That’s all right, then.
          And presumably it was wrong of me to believe that a church minister would have been preaching ‘morality’. So what else would a minister have preached?
          Keep on digging that hole, Sue. You are a credit to blinkered left wing thinking, especially the Labour party who turned a blind eye to this man’s behaviour, as long as he kept authorising ‘his’ bank to make massive donations. After all, he was once vice chairman of Eastleigh Labour Party (I love the ‘vice’ bit!) and a Labour councillor in Bradford.

  3. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    November 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Some people find it disturbing to think state funded coke snorting bankers are running the country.

    BTW I didn’t say he was gay!

  4. Sue
    November 20, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    “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.” He wasnt caught by accident ——- or at least those were the very strong suspicions at the time. He was trapped because (some think) he was suspected of being gay. It was very very hard to be gay back then as I am sure it is still now for a lot of people. I know someone who knew him personally back then and reports him to have been the most lovely, kind and generous person. I seriously dont think this guy is in the same league as the chairmen etc of the big banks. I do think that he seems to have gone off the rails currently. .

    • renard
      November 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      “I do think that he seems to have gone off the rails currently. . ”

      A priceless comment!

      Have you really studied all that this man has been up to over the years?
      Now today we learn that this poor persecuted preacher was suspended from his position as trustee of the drugs charity Lifeline Project over allegations that he had lodged ‘significant’ false expenses claims between 1992 and 2004. Sources say he could have fiddled as much as £150,000 from the charity.
      Once again, he was simply allowed to resign and the investigation was shelved.

      You say that someone found him to be ‘lovely, kind and generous’. That reminds me of what victims often say after being swindled by a con man: “I was really taken in – he didn’t look like a confidence trickster . . . ”

      Keep digging that hole, Sue.

  5. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    November 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

    I don’t think fact he is gay is that relevant. Sex in public places is illegal many offenders are straight; most don’t get caught.
    Our Lawmakers should not be lawbreakers.
    We expect this of our leaders and the rules for them are quite simple.
    Keep it in your trousers;don’t do drugs;don’t download porn at taxpayers expense;keep your penalty points to yourself.
    In return you will get a load of money and fame – people will look to you for guidance.
    Those who feel overwhelmed by their desires for self gratifcation could be prey to set ups…or blackmail, or disgrace and shouldn’t really seek public office…IMO

  6. November 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    I do find Sue’s comments rather odd. Don’t get me wrong, I respect what she has to say and have found that she has added greatly to the debate on many local issues both here and in her local roles.

    However, to think this man was “setup” for his actions in a public toilet is naive. Local residents had complained many times about activity at this local “cottage” and Hants Police acted over a period of two weeks to tackle the problem. 21 males were charged with various offences relating to sexual misconduct within these toilets.

    None of these men were forced to go into the toilets and none were forced to take part in any activity within.

    To claim he was victim of a sting operation because he was gay is nonsense Sue.

    Being gay is not a criminal offence and is very much accepted in society on all levels. Committing sexual acts in public is and should always be illegal.

  7. Rosie
    November 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    I think the worst things is the total lack of personal morals demonstrated by his actions over many years, and the hypocrosy of still thinking himself suitably “moral” and ethical to be both a religious minister and the head of an organisation known for its ethics and morals. People like that bring disrepute to not just themselves but also to the Coop and the Methodist Church. The Coop Bank may not recover from this (eg people I know are leaving the Coop Bank as fast as they can!), which could result in huge problems for many lesser well off Coop bank customers if the Bank was to fold or be turned into another must-have-a-high-credit-rating-to-be-a-customer-with-us bank. The Coop’s basic bank account is used by many people on low incomes or without good credit ratings. This man has caused serious damage which should not be underestimated.

  8. Phyllis
    November 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Matthew, I consider your response to Sue considered, whilst the reply of Renard is nothing short of a tirade against her socialist view. Why are you attacking her rather than Rev Flowers?

  9. renard
    November 28, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I haven’t posted a ‘tirade’, Phyllis!
    Tirades are long, abusive and angry.
    I simply drew attention to how Sue tried to defend the indefensible, presumably because the disgusting Flowers is a Labour man. Poor little Millipede has been doing the same, squeaking in protest because the wicked Press have revealed Flowers’s close association with the Labour Party, something they are desperate to suppress.
    It was Sue who first introduced politics and indicated her leftward leanings, when in her first post she sought to divert attention from this ‘persecuted’ man with an irrelevant anti-Tory comment about the Bullingdon Club (incidentally, another obnoxious shower).
    I didn’t ‘attack’ her, Phyllis. I countered her shallow comments with some unpalatable facts.
    I did attack Flowers, an unpleasant individual who has led a charmed, hypocritical life while (until now) evading well-deserved censure.

  10. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    November 29, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Opinions are there to be challenged and argument can be robust but posters should take care not to be hurtful and of course posters should not make personal attacks.
    All opinion is welcome here, ‘left leaning’ or otherwise. It would be a dull world if we all agreed with each other.
    Both Sue and Renard have left interesting comments here and on previous stories and are valued contributors.

Comments are closed.