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CBI boss Tony Danker steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

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Tony Danker, the boss of the Confederation of British Industry, has stepped aside amid an investigation into complaints about his conduct.The decision to hire a law firm to investigate him comes after the Guardian approached the CBI last week about a formal complaint that was made in January, as well a number of alleged informal reports of concerns over his behaviour.The formal complaint involved a female CBI employee who it is understood claimed the director general of the business lobbying organisation made unwanted contact with her and considered this unwanted conduct to be sexual harassment.Danker continued in his role after the formal complaint was made, representing the influential organisation in the media and at public events, most recently a CBI conference last Wednesday where the keynote speaker was the education secretary, Gillian Keegan.The CBI confirmed it had received a formal complaint about Danker’s “workplace conduct” in January but opted not to escalate it to a disciplinary process.“The allegation was investigated thoroughly and was dealt with comprehensively, in line with CBI procedure,” said CBI president Brian McBride. “The CBI investigation determined that the issue did not require escalation to a disciplinary process.”After the Guardian inquired on Thursday about the formal complaint and raised several additional allegations about his behaviour towards other members of staff, including concern that the director general had been viewing employees’ personal Instagram profiles, the CBI said it had started an independent investigation and that Danker had asked to step aside during it.It has hired Joanna Chatterton, head of the employment law at Fox Williams, to lead the investigation.

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