Four female employees have accused Tesco Chair, John Allan, of acting in an inappropriate and unprofessional manner.

The Guardian reports Allan is alleged to have touched the bottom of a senior staff member at the company’s annual general meeting in June 2022.

He is also accused of doing the same to another female member of staff at the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual dinner in May 2019, when he was the firm’s president.

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In addition to these allegations, Allan is also accused of making inappropriate remarks on both occasions, as well as to two other female members of CBI staff in November 2019 and 2021.

Some of the women have said they were offended by the language allegedly used by Allan, and consider it to be sexual harassment in the workplace.

Allan has denied all but one of the allegations, which accuses him of making a comment about a CBI worker’s appearance in 2019.

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A spokesperson for Allan said the other claims are “simply untrue”.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Tesco added: “John Allan’s conduct has never been the subject of a complaint during his tenure as chair of Tesco”.

These allegations come after an investigation by The Guardian into the CBI, of which Allan was president from 2018 to 2020, and then vice-president until October 2021.

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Allan has been the Chair of Tesco, the UK’s largest grocer, since 2015 and is one of the most senior men in UK business, often speaking on behalf of the industry in the media.

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One of the women who made an allegation about Allan said: “Leading a company or challenging its leadership means you have to hold up standards across all areas of governance, including sexual harassment. He fell short of what the role is meant to mean”.

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