CBI boss steps aside after investigation launched into workplace conduct

Tony Danker

CBI boss Tony Danker has stepped aside from his role as director general of the business organisation amid allegations of misconduct.

According to the Guardian, which broke the news just before lunchtime on Monday (6 March), the body has brought in employment law expert Joanna Chatterton of Fox Williams to lead an investigation into Danker’s workplace conduct.

A formal complaint is understood to have been made against Danker in January by a female member of staff who alleged the CBI chief had made “unwanted verbal contact” which she “considered to be sexual harassment.”

The CBI chose not to launch a disciplinary process at the time, and its president Brian McBride has since said the allegation “was investigated thoroughly and was dealt with comprehensively.”

However, the organisation has now launched a formal investigation into Danker’s behaviour after further allegations came to light.

Danker, who became director general in 2020, said in a statement the CBI “always strive[d] for the highest standards” and added he would “cooperate fully” with the investigation.

He said: “It’s been mortifying to hear that I have caused offence or anxiety to any colleague. It was completely unintentional, and I apologise profusely. The CBI is the employers’ organisation, and I am very proud to be its leader. We always strive for the highest standards. I therefore support the decision we’ve taken to review any new allegations independently. And I have decided to step aside while the review takes place and will cooperate fully with it.”

Other CBI employees are understood to have raised concerns that Danker viewed staff members’ personal Instagram profiles.

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