Methodist minister Paul Flowers 'suspended indefinitely'

Published 21 November 2013  |  
(Photo: The Co-operative Bank)
Rev Paul Flowers said he was seeking professional help

The Reverend Paul Flowers, formerly chairman of the Co-operative Bank, was suspended from his duties for three weeks by the Methodist Church earlier this week following reports that he bought and used illegal drugs including crystal meth and crack cocaine.

Yesterday, the Methodist Church confirmed that Mr Flowers has now been "suspended indefinitely" as part of the complaints and discipline process.

"We always wait for any police investigation or court proceedings to conclude before moving forward...there will be no further action until then," the statement reads.

The Daily Mail released a video last Sunday apparently showing Mr Flowers spending £300 in a drugs deal, in addition to a series of text messages he sent allegedly boasting of drug use and holding "drug fuelled" parties.

It has since emerged that the openly-gay Mr Flowers resigned from his position as Labour councillor in Bradford in 2011 after "inappropriate but not illegal adult content" was found on his computer.

Prime Minister David Cameron has questioned Mr Flowers' suitability for the role of Co-op bank chairman and his position as Labour councillor, claiming that leaders must have known about Flowers' indiscretions.

"Why weren't alarm bells rung earlier, particularly by those who knew?" he asked in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has said he is "utterly confident" about his party's actions, however, and has assured that Labour have acted with "complete integrity".

This revelation about Mr Flowers has come as a shock to the Methodist community, but a spokesperson has said that he is receiving pastoral care, and has once again called for prayers for all those involved.

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