The director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, Tony Danker, has stepped aside while investigations into his workplace conduct are carried out.
The CBI said that it was made aware of an allegation in January, which was “investigated thoroughly and dealt with comprehensively”, in line with the business lobbying group’s procedure.
That CBI investigation determined that the issue did not require escalating to a disciplinary process.
However, last week it was made aware of new reports regarding Danker’s conduct and it has now taken steps to initiate an independent investigation into these new matters. Danker asked to step aside from his role as CBI director-general while an investigation takes place.
The CBI has hired a law firm to investigate Danker following an approach by the Guardian last week about the formal complaint, and a number of alleged informal reports of concerns about his behaviour.
The formal complaint is understood to have involved a female CBI employee who claimed Danker made unwanted contact with her.
In a tweet, Danker 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.”
The CBI said it takes all matters of workplace conduct extremely seriously but stressed that until this investigation is complete, any new allegations remain unproven and it would be inappropriate to comment further.
— Tony Danker (@tonydanker) March 6, 2023
Danker became director-general of the CBI in November 2020, succeeding Dame Carolyn Fairbairn. Matthew Fell, the confederation’s chief UK policy director, has replaced Danker on an interim basis.
The CBI represents around 190,000 businesses in all sectors of the economy.