Supermarket giant Tesco has defended its chair John Allan, following the emergence of allegations of inappropriate behaviour by four women.
The allegations emerged in a report by The Guardian, which alleged that Allan touched a Tesco employee at the supermarket’s shareholder meeting last year.
It also claimed that former Confederation of British Industry (CBI) president Allan “grabbed” a woman at one of its events in 2019.
However, the supermarket said it had not received any complaints about Allan, while Allan himself said the claims are “simply untrue”.
Tesco said: “In relation to John Allan’s conduct at Tesco’s 2022 AGM, Tesco has received no complaints or concerns formally or informally, including through our confidential Protector Line service.”
It added: “At Tesco, we are committed to ensuring all colleagues are respected and feel safe at work. Tesco’s people policies apply to all colleagues, and all concerns or complaints raised about conduct are always taken very seriously and investigated thoroughly. This is a serious allegation and if anyone has any concerns or information, we would ask them to share those with us through any of our reporting channels including through our confidential Protector Line, so we can investigate.
“John Allan’s conduct has never been the subject of a complaint during his tenure as chair of Tesco.”
The Guardian also claimed Allan commented on a CBI employee’s dress and figure in 2021 – an incident he said he does not recall.
Allan has however admitted to making a comment to a female CBI staff member in late 2019 about how she looked in a dress.
Allan said he was “mortified after making the comment in 2019” and immediately apologised. A spokesperson for Allan said: “The person concerned agreed the matter was closed and no further action was taken.”
The spokesperson added: “Regarding the other claims, they are simply untrue.”
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