The embattled board of the Co-operative Group is pressing ahead with the dramatic overhaul of the loss-making business proposed by Lord Myners even though the former City minister has resigned from his post as senior independent director.

The Group confirmed Myners’ departure in just a month’s time after a dramatic two day board meeting. The chain of supermarkets, pharmacies and funeral homes said Myners’ is to leave at the annual general meeting on 17 May.

His shock resignation on Wednesday night after just four months in the job was the result of sustained criticism of his reforms to scrap the current boardroom structure and replace it with one akin to a plc . But the chair of the Co-op, Ursula Lidbetter, said the board still hoped to drive through his reforms.

Myners – who had admitted he faces resistance to his plans – said he was pleased he would be able to complete his review and that it would be put to members. “I am confident that there is a good future for the Co-operative Group if it commits to doing the right things on governance and leadership.”

His proposals, which are to published in full later this month, are to be put to a vote at the AGM, rather than a specially-convened meeting a few months later as previously announced.

But the acceleration of the timetable may infuriate those members and owners of the Co-operative who have been calling for more time to debate the future of the UK’s largest mutual.

It also flies in the face of outspoken remarks by the Midcounties Co-op which has pledged to vote against the reforms, one of the independent societies which together control 22% of the votes at the AGM. The chief executive of the Midcounties, Ben Reid, sits on the board of the Co-op Group.

Myners, who was chairman of Guardian Media Group until 2008 when he resigned to join the Labour government, was appointed in December when the Co-op’s bank unit was mired in the scandal surrounding allegations of drug buying by its former chairman Paul Flowers.

Myners was named as the only independent non-executive director on the board which also includes five members from the independent societies and 15 from the seven regional boards, which ultimately represent the organisation’s eight million members.

Lidbetter, the boss of the Lincolnshire Co-op, said the board was determined to push through reforms.

“We are committed to reforming our governance and know that Lord Myners’ report will provide invaluable stimulus for the changes we need to make. I would like to thank Lord Myners for the work he is doing to ensure The Co-operative Group is best placed to reform and, in due course, thrive,” she said.

The board’s backing for the Myners’ proposals follows the sudden departure of Euan Sutherland, who quit as group chief executive a month ago in the wake of a leak of his £6.6m two-year pay deal. But the hasty publication last month of Myners’ outline of his proposals – to tear up the boardroom structure and create a national members council to represent the members – sparked controversy.

As recently as Tuesday, the president of the Midcounties Co-op said his board would not back Myners’ plans as they stood.

At a series of meetings over the weekend, the members of the regional boards who elect their 15 representatives to the Group board also voted off three of their representatives who had sat on the pay committee which ratified the payments to Sutherland and other members of his executive team. They are Steven Bayes, who was deputy chair, Patrick Grange and Liz Moyle.

Lidbetter was re-elected along with Mark Smith while five new regional representatives will join after the AGM. These are·Andrew Donkin, Bob Harber, David Morrow, Frank Nelson and David Smith.

 The Guardian