David Cameron gives up Afiniti role after founder is accused of sexual assault | David Cameron
David Cameron left his position at software company Afiniti after a 23-year-old former employee accused the company’s multimillionaire founder of sexual assault.
The former UK Prime Minister announced on Wednesday that he is stepping down as chairman of the advisory board after Tatiana Spottiswoode brought a series of allegations against board chairwoman Zia Chishti to US Congressmen on Tuesday.
Cameron, whose post-political career was previously marred by his role at the collapsed Bank Greensill, said he had “absolutely no knowledge” of the allegations against Chishti prior to the hearing and resigned as chairman of the company’s advisory board with immediate effect.
“The alleged events took place before David Cameron started working for Afiniti and he was unaware of them until just before yesterday’s Congressional hearing,” said the former Prime Minister’s spokesman.
“Mr. Cameron understands that the allegations are controversial but does not agree with the company’s approach to the matter. He made this point clear to Mr. Chishti yesterday. “
Chishti, 50, is accused of beating Spottiswoode when she had sex with her on a work trip to Brazil in 2017. She also told the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee that Chishti told her “he should have had sex with me when I was 13″. Year old”.
The committee released pictures on Wednesday allegedly showing Spottiswoode neck injuries sustained.
Afiniti, who also employs Princess Beatrice, said Chishti “firmly denies all allegations against him” and said her claims were “false”.
“We take all allegations of this kind very seriously,” said a spokesman. “Afiniti has investigated Ms. Spottiswoode’s claims with an independent attorney and has concluded that the arbitration award she cited was incorrect. The CEO and chairwoman of Afiniti, Zia Chishti, firmly denies all allegations against him. “
Cameron joined Afiniti in 2019 as Chairman of the Advisory Board, which provides call center technology to companies such as Virgin Media and Sky, providing strategic advice to the company’s management and board members. Upon his appointment, he said he will help “change the future of customer service and human communication.”
Spottiswoode, who joined the company in 2016, told the committee her contract contained an arbitration agreement with a “strong confidentiality clause” that prevented her from commenting on the alleged abuse.
She witnessed a hearing on how compulsory arbitration clauses have been used to prevent survivors of sexual harassment and sexual violence from pursuing cases in court.
Jerry Nadler, chairman of the judiciary committee, is preparing a law to prohibit the use of compulsory arbitration in cases of suspected sexual violence and harassment.
Spottiswoode, a law student at Columbia University and friend of Chishti’s daughter, told members of Congress that Chishti pressured her to have sex in order to keep her job.
She “didn’t” accuse him [being] willing to treat me like an employee ”. She added, “Instead, he vacillated between pressuring me to have sex and punishment for the next 18 months. When I rejected him, he humiliated me in front of colleagues and then completely ignored me, so that I feared for my job. “
On her work trip to Brazil, she said that she “began to worry that Chishti not only wanted sex, but wanted to hurt and punish me for rejecting him.”
“I felt completely trapped and hopeless. I was 23 and very far from home, ”she told the committee. “I didn’t want to lose my job, I didn’t want him to get angry, I didn’t feel like anyone was protecting me, and I was too tired to argue with him. I went to his room where he hit me while having sex with me.
“I told him he was hurting me, he said, ‘Good’. He told me he should have had sex with me when we first met when I was 13 years old. “
Spottiswoode said her body was “covered with scratches, cuts and bruises”. “I had bruises around my neck that looked like I had been strangled, a large bump on my head, and a black eye. A nurse at the hospital said I had symptoms of a concussion. “
Cameron’s career since leaving Downing Street in 2016 has been marred by his role as a lobbyist for the collapsed bank Greensill. He was told by MPs on the Treasury Department’s Special Committee that his continued lobbying for Greensill’s inclusion in a government-backed Covid-19 loan program had “demeaned” the Prime Minister’s position and left his “reputation in tatters”.
The former prime minister had to deny that his SMS and WhatsApp lobbying campaign on Greensill’s behalf was fueled by fears that an “opportunity to make a large amount of money was being jeopardized”.