Business group CBI ‘investigating’ allegations of sexual misconduct

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The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said it is investigating “all recent allegations” after the Guardian said it had been approached by more than a dozen women who said they had been victims of sexual misconduct by senior figures at the lobbying group.

One woman alleged to the newspaper that she had been raped during a staff party in 2019 and was later told by a manager to get counselling rather than to pursue the issue further.

The woman said she had not reported the event to the police and the CBI told the newspaper it had no record of the incident.

In a separate statement, the CBI said that commenting on cases would undermine an investigation which the group launched after its chief executive was accused of wrongdoing last month.

“The CBI has treated and continues to treat all matters of workplace conduct with the utmost seriousness, which is why last month we commissioned a thorough investigation by an independent law firm into all recent allegations that have been put to us,” it said.

“It would undermine this important process and be damaging and prejudicial to all the individuals involved to comment on these allegations at this point.

“We will not hesitate to take any necessary action when the investigation concludes.”

Sources also told the Guardian there was a separate alleged attempted sexual assault by a manager at the same 2019 event where the woman alleged she was raped.

The CBI told the paper that it had investigated the case and the alleged perpetrator left the organisation.

Furthermore, several women said a senior manager had sent unwanted intimate images to them, with the newspaper saying it had seen some of the images.

It comes after CBI boss Tony Danker stepped aside from his role a month ago after it was reported the group was looking into his conduct.

A woman employed by the CBI alleged Mr Danker had made unwanted contact with her which she considered to be sexual harassment.

Mr Danker apologised for causing “offence or anxiety to any colleague” and said that it was “unintentional”.

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