"On Thursday 29 July, the Hay Festival board unanimously endorsed the findings of an independent investigation and panel review that upheld an internal complaint against Hay Festival Co-Founder and Director Peter Florence, backed by more than half of the Welsh Festival team. In line with the Festival's Disciplinary Procedure and Bullying & Harassment Procedure, it was found that Mr Florence's actions amounted to gross misconduct.
"This decision followed a thorough and extensive process, which considered substantial supporting evidence. As the board gathered to conclude the internal process, Mr Florence resigned with immediate effect. The Board will now be seeking new leadership for the world-renowned non-profit organisation.
"Mr Florence was suspended last October following the panel’s review of the grievance complaints and has been signed off sick since then. Finance Director and Interim CEO Tania Hudson has led the UK team over the past 10 months, delivering successful digital events in December and May, while Hay Festival International Director Cristina Fuentes continues to run Hay Festival events internationally.
"Thanks to the dedication and commitment of our teams, artists, friends, Haymakers and supporters in Wales and around the world, our hybrid Festival plans continue unchanged for the next 12 months as we bring writers and readers together in sustainable events across Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Hay-on-Wye."
Hay Festival board of directors, 1 August 2021