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Confederation of British Industry names Rupert Soames as next president

LONDON (Reuters) - The Confederation of British Industry said on Tuesday that Rupert Soames, the chair of medical devices company Smith & Nephew, will succeed Brian McBride as the business group's president early next year.

The appointment comes as the CBI seeks to put itself on a more stable footing, after an exodus of corporate members earlier this year in the wake of rape and sexual assault allegations which led to a police investigation.

Soames, a grandson of Winston Churchill who was previously chief executive at Aggreko and Serco, will take over from McBride early in the new year before facing a confirmation vote at the CBI's annual general meeting in June 2024.

"With the CBI back influencing at the highest levels across the UK again, there is no better person to pass the baton to," said McBride, who is also chair of Trainline Plc.

The day-to-day work of the CBI is led by its chief executive, Rain Newton-Smith, who returned to the body in April after chief executive Tony Danker was fired due to concerns about his conduct unrelated to other more serious allegations.

Britain's government and main opposition political parties paused high-level engagement with the CBI earlier this year, but finance minister Jeremy Hunt and Labour Party business spokesman Jonathan Reynolds both addressed a CBI conference last month.

(Reporting by David Milliken, Editing by Kylie MacLellan and Sarah Young)