Image source, Getty Images
The CBI is facing a second allegation of rape by a woman who claims she was seriously sexually assaulted by two male colleagues.
The Guardian reported the assault took place when the woman was working at one of the CBI’s overseas offices.
The CBI said these latest allegations “are abhorrent and our hearts go out to any women who have been victims of the behaviour described”.
It said that it was not previously aware of these allegations.
But Brian McBride, president of the CBI, added: “It is vital that they are thoroughly investigated now and we are liaising closely with the police to help ensure any perpetrators are brought to justice.”
The City of London police is already investigating an alleged rape at a CBI summer party in 2019.
The BBC has contacted the City of London police in connection with the second alleged rape.
Aviva, one of the UK’s biggest insurance groups, said on Friday that it would now cancel its membership of the CBI.
The organisation is one of the UK’s leading business lobby groups and claims to speak for 190,000 companies.
But Aviva said: “In light of the very serious allegations made, and the CBI’s handling of the process and response, we believe the CBI is no longer able to fulfil its core function – to be a representative voice of business in the UK.
“We have therefore regrettably terminated our membership with immediate effect.”
The Guardian also reported that a woman at the CBI’s London office had been stalked by a male colleague in 2018.
She complained to the CBI and a finding of harassment was upheld. However, the newspaper reports that the man continued to work at the organisation and eventually left for unrelated reasons.
In response, the CBI said: “We recognise the substance of the harassment report outlined as relating to an allegation made and investigated in January 2018.
“The finding of harassment was upheld and a sanction was imposed.”
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn was the director-general of the CBI between 2015 and 2020. The BBC has contacted her for comment.
Earlier this month, claims of misconduct and sexual assault at the CBI emerged.
The group has suspended three employees pending the outcome of an investigation by law firm Fox Williams.
Mr McBride said it is anticipating a report from Fox Williams later on Friday.
“The board will communicate its response to this and the other steps we are taking to bring about the wider change that is needed early next week,” he said.
Separately, the CBI fired director-general Tony Danker last week following claims of workplace misconduct against him.
Mr Danker took over from Dame Carolyn in late 2020.