CBI settles legal action with ousted boss Tony Danker

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has settled legal action brought by its former director-general who was fired last year following allegations about his behaviour.

The business group said it and Tony Danker have agreed an “undisclosed settlement” following his sacking from the post in April 2023.

Mr Danker’s sacking came after he faced allegations about his behaviour in the workplace.

The claims were reported in the Guardian, and later other, more serious, allegations against different CBI staff emerged. That led to the biggest crisis in the organisation’s history.

When dismissing Mr Danker from his post, the CBI said his conduct “fell short of that expected” of its boss.

It was not clear from the trade body’s statement what Mr Danker had included in his legal action.

The CBI said: “The CBI has today settled legal action brought against the organisation by Tony Danker after his dismissal in April 2023.

“The CBI board has agreed an undisclosed settlement with Mr Danker.

“The CBI board also reiterates that Mr Danker is not associated in any way with the historical allegations reported in the media concerning matters which pre-date his tenure at the CBI and rejects any such association.”

The allegations against CBI staff, which included two accusations of rape, pushed the group into a deep crisis.

Within hours of the second rape allegation being reported, dozens of the CBI’s biggest members suspended or withdrew their membership.

Meetings with ministers were also cancelled and the company said it was suspending all membership activities.

The extent of the damage to the group is evident in how it describes itself – a year ago it claimed to speak “on behalf of 190,000 businesses” but on Monday that figure was 170,000.

However, it has managed to stay afloat, despite predictions that the problems might be the end of it. During its crisis several rival organisations were established, hoping to become the next voice of British industry.

For now, as the country heads into what is likely to be an election year, the CBI has managed to steady the ship.