CBI boss Tony Danker steps aside after misconduct allegations

Tony Danker

The boss of one of the UK’s largest business groups has stepped aside while an investigation takes place into complaints about his conduct at work.

The CBI said it took all matters of workplace conduct “extremely seriously”, but would not comment further until the probe was complete.

In a tweet, Tony Danker said he was “mortified” to hear that he had caused “offence or anxiety to any colleague”.

“It was completely unintentional, and I apologise profusely,” he wrote.

The CBI said it was first made aware of an allegation regarding Mr Danker’s workplace conduct involving a female employee in January. It said it had investigated this “thoroughly” at the time and “dealt with it comprehensively”.

It said it decided at the time decided that the issue did not require escalation to a disciplinary process.

However, in early March, the CBI said it was made aware of new reports regarding Tony Danker’s workplace conduct.

“We have now taken steps to initiate an independent investigation into these new matters,” the CBI said in a statement.

“The CBI takes all matters of workplace conduct extremely seriously but it is important to stress that until this investigation is complete, any new allegations remain unproven and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage,” it added.

Mr Danker said he supported the decision.

“We always strive for the highest standards. I therefore support the decision we’ve taken to review any new allegations independently.”

The CBI represents 190,000 businesses across a variety of sectors from IT to retail.

Mr Danker has headed the group for just over two years.

Prior to joining the CBI, Mr Danker held a range of roles in business, media and government, including working at the Guardian newspaper and as a policy adviser for the Cabinet Office and Treasury.

He was also the first boss of not-for-profit group Be The Business aimed at improving business performance, in which former Chancellor George Osborne was also involved.

Joanna Chatterton, head of the employment law team at firm Fox Williams LLP, will lead the independent investigation into Mr Danker’s workplace conduct.

Matthew Fell, the chief UK policy director at the CBI, will lead the group during the investigation.