CBI business group faces new sexual misconduct claims

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), one of the UK's most influential business advocacy groups, has reached a settlement in a legal dispute with its former leader, Tony Danker.

An investigation into sexual misconduct at one of Britain’s biggest business lobby groups has been widened after new allegations have emerged.

The Confederation of British Industry is at the centre of claims published by the Guardian, detailing alleged misconduct by individuals.

Law firm Fox Williams is overseeing the expanded investigation.

“The CBI has treated and continues to treat all matters of workplace conduct with the utmost seriousness,” it said.

“Which is why last month, we commissioned a thorough investigation by an independent law firm into all recent allegations that have been put to us.”

The most serious allegation relates to a woman who claims she was raped by a senior colleague at a CBI summer boat party in 2019.

The woman told the Guardian she felt let down by a CBI manager who, she claims, advised her to seek out counselling rather than pursue the matter further.

Regarding this allegation, a CBI spokesperson said: “We have found no evidence or record of this matter. Given the seriousness of the issue, it is part of the independent investigation being conducted by Fox Williams.”

In relation to other allegations of sexual misconduct made by women against figures at the CBI, a spokesman for the lobby group added: “It would undermine this important process and be damaging and prejudicial to all the individuals involved to comment on these allegations at this point.

“We will not hesitate to take any necessary action when the investigation concludes.”

Since the beginning of March, Fox Williams has been investigating separate allegations made against Tony Danker, the CBI’s director general who has since stepped aside and Business group boss steps aside after misconduct claims.

It is understood that the new claims do not relate to Mr Danker who became director-general in late 2020.

Since the allegations have emerged, Fox Williams’ investigation has now been widened.

The CBI lobbies on behalf of around 190,000 businesses that employ millions of people.