Friday, June 21, 2024

CBI 'suspends' all activities after firms cancel membership on second rape allegation


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Dozens of firms have terminated or barred their ties with the trade body following allegations of sexual misconduct against employees, the CBI has said, “suspending all policy and membership activity” until an extraordinary general meeting in June. .

The trade body’s future is in doubt following an exodus of corporate members following reports of a second allegation of rape by a female employee.

“We are deeply sorry,” it said in a statement late Friday announcing the move.

NatWest joined the John Lewis Partnership, BMW and Virgin Media in canceling the O2 partnership, which comes days after CEO Tony Danker was sacked over separate allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Other major employers – such as Asda, Lloyds Banking Group, Unilever, Scottish Power, the British Beer and Pub Association, and Shell – have also suspended all activity with the lobbying group.

In the statement, the CBI board said: “We seek to understand from our partners, members, experts and stakeholders exactly how they envisage our future role and purpose.

As a result, we have taken the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all policy and membership activities until an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in June.

“At the EGM we will put forward proposals for a refocused CBI to their membership to decide on the future role and purpose of the organisation.

“This work and cultural reform will be the entire and immediate focus of the organization in the coming weeks.”

Crisis deepens in front of business group Guardian The woman claimed that she was raped by two male colleagues when she fainted after a night out while working in the CBI office abroad.

She stated that she had no recollection of the rape itself, but had described in detail the physical signs that led her to believe she had been raped, and later presented the office with a clear photograph.

Earlier, a member of staff alleged that she was assaulted by a manager at a summer boat party in 2019.

City of London police were already investigating the first allegation of rape, as well as a series of other misconduct claims from around a dozen workers.

On Wednesday, Mr Danker said his reputation had been “completely destroyed” by the separate allegations leveled against him and claimed he had been made a “fall guy” for the wider crisis.