David Cameron resigns from role at Afiniti after founder accused of sex assault

The founder of Afiniti has been accused of sexual harassment and assault at a hearing in US congress.

Sam Blewett
Wednesday 17 November 2021 14:57
David Cameron (Victoria Jones/PA)
David Cameron (Victoria Jones/PA)

Former prime minister David Cameron has resigned as chairman of the advisory board to the Afiniti software company after its founder was accused of sexual harassment and assault.

The former Conservative leader, whose lucrative roles after leaving No 10 have seen him come under intense scrutiny, announced on Wednesday he would immediately stand down from his post with the firm.

Former employee Tatiana Spottiswoode detailed allegations against chief executive Zia Chishti to members of US congress in a hearing on Tuesday.

Mr Cameron understands that the allegations are disputed, but disagrees with the approach being taken by the company in responding to the matter

Spokesman for David Cameron

A spokesman for Mr Cameron said he had “absolutely no knowledge” of the claims until the public testimony and stressed they allegedly took place before he began chairing the board in 2019.

“Mr Cameron understands that the allegations are disputed, but disagrees with the approach being taken by the company in responding to the matter,” a statement read.

“He made this view clear to Mr Chishti yesterday.

“Mr Cameron has therefore resigned as chairman of the company’s advisory board with immediate effect.

“He does so with regret, given the success and promise of this exciting company, and the commitment, dedication and loyalty of the many hard-working employees with whom he has enjoyed working.”

Princess Beatrice is employed in New York as vice-president of strategy and partnerships at the firm, which is headquartered in Bermuda and provides call centre technology.

Princess Beatrice (Aaron Chown/PA)

A spokesman has been asked whether she will remain in the role.

Ms Spottiswoode told the hearing that after signing a contract with the company in April 2016, it became clear Mr Chisti “was not willing to treat me like an employee”.

“Instead, over the next 18 months he oscillated between pressuring me for sex and punishing me,” she said.

“When I rebuffed him he humiliated me in front of co-workers and then ignored me completely, causing me to fear for my job.”

Mr Cameron’s post-political career after leaving Downing Street in 2016 has been tarnished by the Greensill affair.

Multiple inquiries were launched after he was widely criticised for privately lobbying ministers in an attempt to secure access to an emergency coronavirus loan scheme for the firm, which collapsed in March.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in