Housebuilder Barratt Developments said its chairman would stand down to prevent the impact of the allegations against him “which could be disruptive to the company”.
The news comes after it was announced on Friday that John Allan will step down as Tesco chairman at the supermarket’s annual meeting on June 16.
Four allegations about Allan emerged during the Guardian’s investigation into the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) – the UK’s main business lobbying group. Allan was the president of the organization between 2018 and 2020 and then vice-president until October 2021. Allan denied three of the four claims made against him.
Barratt said it had not received any complaints about Allan during his tenure at the construction firm.
The company said it was “in Barratt’s best interests to facilitate the planned transition to the new chairman of the board to prevent the ongoing impact of the allegations against John which could disrupt the company”.
Allan blamed the board’s decision to end his tenure early on “anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations” of wrongdoing against him, “which I vehemently deny”.
Barratt said Allan would be replaced by non-executive director and chair-designate Caroline Silver, a former chair of consumer goods business PZ Cussons who remains an independent non-executive director of Tesco.
Silver was announced as Barratt’s chair-designate in January but is not expected to join the company until June 1, before succeeding Allan as chair on September 6.
Jock Lennox, Barratt’s senior independent director, thanked Allan for his appointment, saying: “The board is grateful to John for his nine years of service to Barratt. He leaves the company in a strong financial and operational position. “
On 9 May, the Guardian reported that Allan allegedly touched the bottom of a senior member of staff at Tesco in June 2022, at the company’s last AGM.
He also admitted touching the bottom of a CBI staff member at the annual dinner in May 2019, when he was the organisation’s president.
Sources said Allan, 74, made inappropriate remarks on occasions as well as separate, similar comments to two other female CBI staff members in November 2019 and in 2021. each one. Some of the women said they were offended by the alleged actions and considered his behavior sexual harassment.
Allan admitted he made a comment about the appearance of a CBI staff member he found offensive in 2019. He apologized for the remark after a discussion with the group’s director general Carolyn Fairbairn. A spokesman for Allan said the other three claims were “untrue”.
Allan said: “It is with regret that at the request of the board I will be stepping down as chairman of Barratt Developments plc on June 30, 2023, before the end of my tenure in early September as planned.
“My early departure from Barratt was a result of anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations made against me, as reported in the Guardian, which I vehemently deny.”