Lord Myners: 'Expect Co-op proposals to be rejected'


Lord Myners, who resigned as senior independent director of the Co-operative Group last week, has revealed that he expects his plans for a shake-up in the way the embattled group is governed will be voted down.

“I think the possibility of my proposals being accepted by the membership in May is quite low,” he said.

Writing in today’s Guardian, Myners,  added: “The Co-op Group now confronts profound financial and strategic challenges. It urgently needs governance that is fit for purpose.

“The consequences of not addressing this do not bear contemplation by those who care about the group or who depend on it, like our 90,000 colleagues.”

His remarks come just days before the supermarkets-to-funeral parlours group is expected to report full-year losses of more than £2 billion. His departure from the board came after chief executive Euan Sutherland also resigned after details of his £6.6 million two-year pay package were leaked, leading him to say the organisation was “ungovernable.”

Even though he has quit the board Myners will complete his review of the Co-op’s governance in time for its annual meeting in May.

But he warned: “I will set out reforms that I see as crucial for the group’s future viability. It is, however, important to understand that I am not in a position to negotiate on my recommendations. I was asked to undertake an independent review, give my diagnosis and make recommendations. I represent no one except common sense.”

Myners also rejected claims that his interim proposals had suggested turning the Co-op into a plc. He said: “I am a strong supporter of co-operatives and mutuality. I would not have taken on a review of the Co-operative Group’s governance if I did not care deeply. I want to see the group survive and flourish.”