Enterprise technology company Sage is one of the nearly 50 businesses to publicly terminate or suspend membership of the CBI following a second allegation of rape that threatens the future of the scandal-ridden business lobby group.
UK companies ranging from car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover to chip intellectual property designer Imagination Technologies deserted the Confederation of British Industry in droves on Friday in the wake of a new allegation of rape reported by the Guardian.
It is the latest in a series of rape and sexual misconduct allegations that have rocked the UK’s most prominent lobby group, which claims to be the voice of 190,000 businesses across Britain.
Companies across all sectors have been quitting the group throughout the day. Meta, the company behind Facebook and Instagram, said it has paused engagement with the CBI will the investigation is ongoing.
Virgin Media O2 ended its membership, saying: “While we respect the ongoing investigations taking place, these disturbing allegations and the way the situation has been handled is not representative of business in Britain.”
Barclays said it is no longer “proactively engaging” with the CBI, while Lloyds Banking Group said it will not be renewing its membership with the CBI. JPMorgan, HSBC, NatWest and Mastercard also paused activities with the lobby group while the investigation is ongoing.
The CBI has now passed the second rape allegation to the police. The previous allegation of rape, from 2019, is already being investigated by the City of London Police, and is alleged to have taken place in 2019 on a summer boat party on the River Thames.
In a statement published on Friday evening, the CBI said: “The CBI shares the shock and revulsion at the events that have taken place in our organisation, and at past failures that allowed these events to happen. We are deeply sorry and express our profound regret to the women who have endured the horrific experiences.”
The CBI added that it has suspended all policy and membership activity “until an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in June”.
Last week the CBI sacked its director-general Tony Danker, who had been under investigation for separate misconduct claims, which he denies.
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