John Allan to stand down as Barratt chairman after misconduct allegations

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utgoing Tesco chairman John Allan is also stepping down from his role chairing housebuilder Barratt Developments amid allegations over his conduct.

Barratt has requested that Mr Allan leaves his post as chairman on June 30, bringing forward the end of his nine-year tenure that was due to finish in September.

It comes after Tesco announced on Friday that he would be standing down from the helm of their board next month as it said the allegations of misconduct by the businessman “risk becoming a distraction”.

My early departure from Barratt is a result of the anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations made against me, as reported in the Guardian which I vehemently deny

Mr Allan – who was also previously president of the CBI, which has been rocked by multiple sexual misconduct allegations in recent months – blamed “anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations” of misconduct against him for the decision by the Barratt board to end his tenure early.

The construction firm stressed that it has not received any complaints about Mr Allan during his time at the company.

But it said it was “in the best interests of Barratt to accelerate the planned transition to the new chairman of the board to prevent the ongoing impact of the allegations against John from becoming disruptive to the company”.

It comes after Mr Allan, 74, faced four allegations in the media in relation to his personal conduct, three of which he “vehemently” denies, and one over which he “unreservedly apologised” for inappropriate comments made to a female member of staff.

In a separate statement, Mr Allan said: “It is with regret that at the request of the board I am stepping down as chairman of Barratt Developments Plc as of June 30 2023, ahead of finishing my tenure in early September as planned.

“My early departure from Barratt is a result of the anonymous and unsubstantiated allegations made against me, as reported in the Guardian which I vehemently deny.”

Barratt said Mr Allan would be replaced by non-executive director and chairwoman-designate Caroline Silver.

Jock Lennox, senior independent director at Barratt, said: “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.”

The Guardian said earlier this month that it had been approached by four women claiming Mr Allan’s behaviour had been inappropriate or unprofessional.

The newspaper reported claims that Mr Allan allegedly touched a senior staff member’s bottom at last year’s shareholder meeting.

He was also accused of allegedly touching the bottom of a member of staff at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) in May 2019.

The CBI’s director-general Tony Danker and staff members at the trade body have been fired after more than a dozen women came forward alleging they had been the victims of bad behaviour. Mr Danker later hit out at the CBI, saying he was the “fall guy” and that his reputation had been “totally trashed”.

Mr Allan denied three of the allegations against him and apologised for the fourth – an allegation that he had commented on a woman’s appearance.

One claim was to do with Tesco’s annual general meeting (AGM) last year.

Tesco, which investigated the allegation, said last Friday that its review had “not identified any evidence or complaints in relation to John at the Tesco 2022 AGM or at all in his tenure as Tesco chair”.

Evening Standard – News