Former Bridlington minister charged with possession of Class A drugs

Paul Flowers.
Paul Flowers.

A Methodist minister who served in the Bridlington area has been charged with possession of drugs including cocaine and crystal meth.

The former Co-op Bank boss Paul Flowers, 63, was arrested by officers from West Yorkshire Police in the Liverpool area last year.

Flowers stepped down as the Co-operative Bank’s chairman in June amid claims of illegal drug use and inappropriate expenses payments.

He was charged with two counts of possession of Class A drugs, cocaine and methamphetamine, and one count of possession of Class C drug ketamine, prosecutors said.

A second man was also charged in relation to the incident.

Gavin Woroniuk, 33, of Mitford Road, Leeds, faces four counts of offering to supply controlled drugs and one count of possession of criminal property.

Both men will appear at Leeds Magistrates’ Court on May 7.

Flowers was suspended by the Methodist Church and Labour Party following allegations he bought and used illegal drugs.

It also emerged that he quit as a Labour councillor in Bradford after porn was found on his computer, although at the time he claimed he was leaving due to pressure of work.

The Co-operative Bank confirmed last year that it was seeking to recover contractual payments totalling £31,000 made to Mr Flowers amid reports that he was also the subject of an inquiry into ‘’lavish’’ expense claims at the Co-op when he resigned from the mutual’s group board in June.

It also emerged that Flowers left the Manchester-based drug charity Lifeline Project in 2004 after an investigation over claims for expenses there.

Flowers, of Hollingwood Drive, Bradford, was charged after he answered bail at Stainbeck police station in Leeds.