Former minister for the disabled Lord Alf Morris was appointed chairman of the Co-operative Insurance Society's (CIS) Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee at its first meeting on June 29.

The committee has been established to scrutinise decisions made by the CIS's responsible shareholding unit and to provide guidance on areas of concern.

It contains representatives from business, academia, politics, the media and voluntary organisations and will meet quarterly.

Issues as diverse as drug company pricing policies, peat extraction, rail safety and countries with bad human rights records were discussed at the first meeting.

Other topics of interest were the records of companies such as BP, Enron, Roche, Glaxosmithkline and Provident Financial.