More women accuse past CBI president John Allan of behaving badly

The previous president of the CBI and present chairman of Tesco is dealing with additional claims of inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour.

John Allan, a veteran Metropolis determine who can also be chairman of Barratt Developments, the housebuilder, allegedly touched the underside of a senior Tesco worker in June on the retailer’s annual common assembly, in response to The Guardian.

Allan, 74, can also be alleged to have touched the underside of a colleague on the annual dinner of the CBI in Might 2019 when he was the president of the enterprise foyer group.

It reported final month by The occasions that Allan was the topic of a separate grievance by a feminine colleague on the CBI over a “wholly inappropriate, demeaning and objectifying” remark. He had allegedly advised a mid-ranking CBI supervisor, shortly earlier than Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech as Labour Celebration chief on the CBI’s annual convention in November 2019: “That costume actually fits your determine”.

Allan was president of the CBI between 2018 and 2020 after which vice-president till October 2021. The foyer group is in disaster after the federal government and a few of Britain’s greatest corporations minimize ties final month after separate, extra severe allegations by members of workers of sexual misconduct and rape.

Allan is alleged to have made inappropriate remarks throughout the incidents in June 2022 and Might 2019 in addition to an analogous remark to a different feminine member of CBI workers in 2021. A number of the ladies are stated to have been offended by the alleged actions and regarded it sexual harassment.

He denies all of the allegations, besides the remark made in November 2019. A spokesman for Allan stated he “was mortified after making the remark in 2019 and he instantly apologised. The individual involved agreed the matter was closed and no additional motion was taken. Concerning the opposite claims, they’re merely unfaithful.

“Even so, Mr Allan requested that Tesco and Fox Williams — who have been instructed by the CBI to conduct an investigation following numerous allegations — examine them. Fox Williams determined to not, and Tesco will not be conscious of and haven’t obtained any complaints about Mr Allan’s conduct both on the 2022 AGM or over the eight years that he has been chair of Tesco.”

Fox Williams has been approached for remark, together with on whether or not the agency will now examine the claims. The CBI declined to remark.

Tesco, the place Allan has been chairman since 2015, stated his conduct “has by no means been the topic of a grievance throughout his tenure as chair of Tesco”.

A spokeswoman stated: “At Tesco, we’re dedicated to making sure all colleagues are revered and really feel secure at work. Tesco’s individuals insurance policies apply to all colleagues, and all considerations or complaints raised about conduct are at all times taken very significantly and investigated totally. It is a severe allegation, and if anybody has any considerations or info, we’d ask them to share these with us by means of any of our reporting channels together with by means of our confidential Protector Line, so we will examine.”

Allan led the CBI throughout the interval when a few of the most severe alleged incidents to have emerged in current weeks are stated to have taken place. They embrace an allegation of rape at a CBI summer season workers boat occasion on the River Thames in 2019, which is being investigated by Metropolis of London police.

Brian McBride, CBI president since final yr and a former chief govt of Amazon within the UK, stated final month that there “have been severe failings in how we’ve acted as an organisation”. He apologised “to the victims of this organisational failure”.

After the remark in November 2019, the lady reported it to the CBI’s deputy director-general on the occasion, who in flip raised it with Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, then director-general.

Fairbairn, 62, the primary girl within the function, is known to have spoken to the supervisor on the occasion after which to Allan, and considered it as “wholly inappropriate, demeaning and objectifying”.

After talking with Fairbairn, Allan supplied to apologise to the supervisor, which he did.

A supply with information of the incident stated: “It was a silly, terrible, insensitive and insulting factor to say.” The supply added that the supervisor believed the incident was handled decisively.

One other supply with information of the incident stated the remark was out of character for Allan and that that they had “by no means seen any indicators of that sort of behaviour earlier than”. One other former CBI worker stated Allan was a “identified dinosaur” on the organisation.

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