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By Simon Jack & Michael Race
BBC business editor and business reporter

The CBI business group has settled legal action brought by its former boss Tony Danker for wrongful dismissal.

Mr Danker was sacked with immediate effect in 2023 following complaints about his behaviour.

His departure emerged as other separate allegations of misconduct at the business lobby group were uncovered but were unconnected to Mr Danker.

The CBI reiterated on Monday Mr Danker was not associated with these historical claims.

The lobby group, which claims to represent the interests of 170,000 businesses across the UK, confirmed it had agreed an “undisclosed settlement” with its former director-general.

The CBI was plunged into crisis last year following allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Thousands of members, including John Lewis, BMW, Virgin Media O2, quit the group and the government halted engagement, which prompted fears over its funding and survival.

Prior to those claims, Mr Danker faced separate allegations about his behaviour.

He was criticised for taking female colleagues to a karaoke bar, inviting young female colleagues to one-to-one breakfast meetings, as well as following and commenting on social media posts and sending personal messages on work platforms.

Mr Danker acknowledged in a BBC interview after his dismissal in April last year that he had made some staff feel “very uncomfortable”, adding: “I apologise for that.”

But he claimed he had been made “the fall guy” for a wider crisis engulfing the CBI and that his reputation had been “totally destroyed”.

Brian McBride, the then CBI president, told the BBC after Mr Danker’s departure that he was “welcome to take his case to an employment tribunal or the courts if thinks he has been mistreated”.

He also said that Mr Danker’s description of events was “selective”.

It is understood Mr Danker eventually took his case to Bruce Carr KC, author of the Carr Review on industrial disputes.

On Monday, the CBI said it had settled the case, adding that its 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 business group is still trying to recover from the scandal and has dismissed around a third of its staff.

It recently managed to raise additional funding and it has appointed business veteran and former MP Sir Rupert Soames to be its new president.

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22 April 2023