Vote result

CBI members overwhelming back planned reform

Rain Newton-Smith
Rain Newton-Smith: real progress

CBI members threw the troubled business lobby group a potential lifeline today by strongly backing its plans for reform.

A motion proposing changes to the governance, culture and purpose of the CBI was backed by 93% of the 371 votes cast.

CBI members voted on the basis of ‘one member, one vote’ – whether a direct member or a Trade Association.

They were asked to vote on the new prospectus put together following a series of allegations over misbehaviour by senior staff which led to resignations, including blue chip companies. Their departure contributed to a growing view that the CBI was in its death throes.

Following today’s vote, Rain Newton-Smith, who was brought in as director general after her predecessor Tony Danker was sacked, said:  “After an incredibly tough period, I’m deeply grateful for the faith shown in us by our members.

“We’ve made real progress in implementing the top-to-bottom programme of change promised by the board and, while there remains work to do, today’s result represents an important milestone on that journey.  

“Even an organisation as established as the CBI is only as strong as its members. That support is something we have never taken for granted. We will work tirelessly to repay the faith shown in us and are committed to living the values and changes we have proposed.   

“Let me be clear, we have listened, we have acted, and we will leave no stone unturned to be the best voice for business inside and out.  

“We also heard another important message from members. That they want us to bring our breadth and depth of expertise, as well as our unique convening power, to bear on the economic challenges of the day.”    

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