Co-operative society rejects shake-up proposals

Co-operative faced a fresh blow after it emerged that the largest independent society under its umbrella had rejected plans for a corporate shake-up

Nick Ansell/PA Wire A Co-operative food store
A Co-operative food store

The embattled Co-operative faced a fresh blow after it emerged that the largest independent society under its umbrella had rejected plans for a corporate shake-up.

The board of the Midcounties Co-operative, which operates gas and electricity supplier Co-operative Energy as well as Co-op branded food stores and other businesses, has voted against the proposals by former City minister Lord Myners.

These include a move to abolish the wider group’s vast 21-member board, splitting it into two with a “plc” style panel responsible for commercial decisions and representatives from its traditional membership sitting on a separate body.

The Co-op group board has already agreed to this proposal but the shake-up still needs to be finalised and agreed by its millions of members. It is the latest blow to the wider group after chief executive Euan Sutherland walked out claiming it was “ungovernable” - as he tried to push through reforms amid the worst crisis in the organisation’s history. The Co-op recently delayed the publication of annual results which are expected to reveal losses of £2bn.

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