CBI’s Director-General Danker Fired Amidst Scandal and Complaints

"CBI Takes Action Against Workplace Misconduct, Fires Director-General and Suspends Three Others"

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has announced that it has fired its director-general, Tony Danker, and suspended three others following an investigation into complaints of workplace misconduct. The CBI is one of Britain’s most prominent business organisations and represents the views of many of the country’s largest companies to the British government and beyond. The group has appointed its former chief economist, Rain Newton-Smith, as its new leader.

The CBI said that the allegations of misconduct made against it in recent weeks had been “devastating” and that there had been “serious failings” in the way that the organisation had acted. Mr Danker stepped aside in March while the review into his behaviour was conducted. The Guardian newspaper reported that a complaint was submitted in January by a female CBI employee and that further allegations had been brought by other staff members subsequently.

Mr Danker said in a statement that he was “truly sorry” that he had “unintentionally made a number of colleagues feel uncomfortable”. He added that he was “shocked” to learn that he had been dismissed from the CBI, rather than being invited to put his position forward, as had originally been confirmed. The CBI has said that Mr Danker was not the subject of the more recent allegations but that his conduct “fell short of that expected of the director general”.

Last week, the CBI halted its public events after a series of further allegations were reported in The Guardian. These included one of rape at a staff party in 2019, as well as a separate sexual assault and reports of cocaine use. A number of businesses and the British government have expressed concern over the revelations and whether they should continue to work with the lobbying group. A spokesman for UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that ministers and senior officials would pause engagement until the investigation had been completed.

The CBI has said that three other employees have been suspended pending further investigation into a number of ongoing allegations. The group is liaising with the police and has made clear its intention to co-operate fully with any police investigations.

Ms Newton-Smith, who spent her early career as an economist at the Bank of England, left the CBI in March to join Barclays, where she is managing director for strategy and policy. She said that she wants the CBI to be “an organisation of which we can all be proud”.

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