'Crystal Methodist' former Co-op bank chief Paul Flowers attacks Mail on Sunday

The former chairman of the Co-op Bank exposed by the Mail on Sunday for allegedly buying cocaine and crystal meth from a male escort used a Newsnight interview to hit back at the paper.

He accused it of publishing "fiction" despite the fact that the paper had video evidence of his alleged wrongdoing. The MoS has also said that Flowers has thus far refused every opportunity to put his version of events to its journalists.

The Mail on Sunday published a front page story last November which alleged that former Methodist minister Flowers had bought drugs from a male escort in Leeds.

There have also been press reports that Flowers was forced to quit as a councillor in Bradford after “inappropriate adult content” was found on his computer.

Flowers has also been exposed for consorting with teenage male escorts and apparently paying for sex with them.

Flowers told Newsnight: “The Mail on Sunday and its sister paper have printed a lot of things about me. I remember dear old Michael Foot once describing the Mail group as the forger’s gazette.

“I find the Mail on Sunday and its pseudo-fascist far right tendencies which make Valdimir Putin look like a bleeding heart liberal utterly abhorrent.

“The reality is a considerable amount of what the Mail on Sunday has printed has been pure and utter fiction.”

Insiders at the Mail on Sunday are understood to be fuming at the way Flowers has used his Newsnight interview to smear the paper.

Asked by presenter Jeremy Paxman why he did not sue the Mail on Sunday, Flowers said: “Suing a newspaper is a rich person’s game and even if I am right as I know I am I would much rather just treat the whole thing with the utter contempt it deserves.”

Paxman: “There were stories that were printed that were true and they concerned drugs?”

Flowers: “Those are still the issues that the police are investigating.”

Paxman: "Do you think you have sinned?"

Flowers: “Of course I have and I am in company with every other human being for having my frailties and some of my fragility exposed.

“Most people get through life without that ever coming into the public domain. I am no better and no worse than any number of other people, but of course I have sinned in that old fashioned term which I would rarely use. I am like everybody else, I am frail.”

A Mail on Sunday spokesman said: “We heard Paul Flowers make excuses for his behaviour but it would have been more interesting if he had answered Jeremy Paxman’s question about whether he was on drugs whilst chairman of a bank looking after £47 billion of its customers’ money.

"The paper stands by its articles and has received no complaint from Mr Flowers. We have invited him to give an interview but he has declined."

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