Euan Sutherland, the chief executive of the Co-operative Group, resigned yesterday saying it was “impossible” to change the business because of the way it is governed.

Co-op chairwoman Ursula Lidbetter said she accepted Mr Sutherland’s resignation with "deep regret".

She added: "Euan’s resignation must now act as a catalyst for the real and necessary change which the group must go through."

His resignation came after his salary was released to the press last weekend.

Mr Sutherland said in a statement that he resigned with "with great sadness".

He said he will "not accept" retention and bonus payments previously agreed.