Head of UK employer group CBI steps aside over allegations

CBI conference in Birmingham

LONDON (Reuters) - The Confederation of British Industry said on Monday that its director-general, Tony Danker, had stepped aside while the employer body conducted a review into his behaviour.

The CBI said it had already conducted an internal investigation into Danker's workplace behaviour after receiving a complaint in January, which it judged did not require escalation to a disciplinary process.

However, the CBI said fresh concerns about Danker's behaviour were brought to its attention on March 2.

"We have now taken steps to initiate an independent investigation into these new matters. Tony Danker asked to step aside from his role as Director-General of the CBI while the independent investigation into these matters takes place," the CBI said.

Britain's Guardian newspaper, which first reported that Danker had stepped aside, said the January complaint was submitted by a female CBI employee, and that the more recent allegations had been brought by other members of staff.

The new investigation would be led by an external law firm, the newspaper added.

"It is important to stress that until this investigation is complete, any new allegations remain unproven," the CBI said.

Danker, who worked at McKinsey & Company between 1998 and 2008 and for The Guardian and a business lobby group before joining the CBI in 2020, expressed regret in a statement on social media.

"It's been mortifying to hear that I have caused offence or anxiety to any colleague. It was completely unintentional, and I apologise profusely," he said.

"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."

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)