Labour ends boycott of crisis-hit CBI and meets with new director general

Labour has ended its boycott of the crisis-hit Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to discuss changes the lobby group is making in the wake of a sexual misconduct scandal.

Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds met with new director general Rain Newton-Smith this week.

Both Labour and the Conservatives previously cut ties with the confederation . Which claims to represent about 190,000 businesses – after a string of harassment allegations in March.

Since then, dozens of women have come forward claiming to have experienced misconduct. While working at the CBI, including two who said they were raped.

Ms Newton-Smith has told MPs she is confident the business group can recover from its recent crisis with a turnaround plan. After it survived a key confidence vote by members over its future.

But it later emerged that just 371 votes votes had been cast for its plans, intended to help it regain its position as a lobbying powerhouse . Indicating that fewer than a third of members took part in the vote.

Labour’s meeting, first reported by the Financial Times, is an early sign relations could be starting to thaw with the business group.

A party source said: “Jonathan and Rain met to discuss the changes the CBI are making. Labour have resumed staff level contact as per the Government. And will continue to review political engagement as the CBI work to restore the confidence of their members.”

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