CBI prepares comeback after misconduct scandal

CBI prepares comeback after misconduct scandal

30 Jul    Finance News, News

Embattled business group the CBI is this week preparing to announce the resumption of events for the first time since it was engulfed by allegations of sexual misconduct.

The body, once at the heart of the establishment, has restarted its work in recent weeks, including the analysis of economic data, after pausing activity when the claims first emerged in March.

It is now thought to be ready to start holding events again as it prepares to draw up a manifesto for business before Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement, which comes at a crucial time for the economy.

The CBI was caught up in a series of accusations by former and current employees earlier this year. As a result, it was frozen out of meetings with ministers, hampering its activities as a lobby group for business.

This month, its new director-general, Rain Newton-Smith, attended her first meeting with a government minister since the scandal broke, although it is unclear if that meant normal access had been resumed. She was brought back to the CBI, where she had been chief economist, after Tony Danker was sacked as director-general because of his conduct at work. He has insisted his reputation was “totally destroyed” after becoming embroiled in other claims, not related to him.

Newton-Smith also needs to win back members that walked away amid the scandal, including big names such as FTSE 100 insurer Aviva. It is not clear if the CBI has enough support to hold its annual conference in the autumn, usually attended by the prime minister and other key political figures.

Under Newton-Smith, the body is trying to overhaul its culture and board. A new non-executive, Victoria Cochrane, joined last month.

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