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Head of top UK business lobby fired over misconduct claims

<i>Darren Staples/Bloomberg/Getty Images</i><br/>Tony Danker
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Darren Staples/Bloomberg/Getty Images
Tony Danker

By Duarte Mendonca and Olesya Dmitracova, CNN

The head of the most influential business lobby in the United Kingdom has been fired following a probe into complaints about his workplace conduct.

Tony Danker is leaving the Confederation of British Industry with immediate effect, the group said in a statement Tuesday. Three other employees have been suspended “pending further investigation into a number of ongoing allegations.”

“We apologize to the victims of this organizational failure, including those impacted by the revulsion we have all felt at hearing their stories,” the CBI said. “We wish to thank all those who have had the courage to speak out, through internal or external channels, and encourage them to keep doing so.”

Danker, who stepped aside in early March while the investigation took place, had previously apologized “profusely,” saying that any “offense” he caused was unintentional. On Tuesday, he reiterated his apology on Twitter and said he was “shocked” to hear of his dismissal “instead of being invited to put my position forward as was originally confirmed.”

The CBI did not specify what wrongdoing it had found but stressed that Danker was “not the subject of any of the more recent allegations” of misconduct at the organization.

Danker will be replaced by Rain Newton-Smith, the former chief economist of the CBI.

The CBI, which was founded in 1965, represents about 190,000 UK businesses. Its director-generals and the organization have frequently weighed in on political and economic issues, from Brexit to the UK investment outlook.

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