Here's why Sir Gary Verity has resigned as boss of Welcome to Yorkshire

Sir Gary Verity has quit as chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire after an investigation ruled he made "errors of judgement regarding his expenses", it has been revealed.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 8:32 am
Updated Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 8:43 am
Sir Gary Verity pictured presenting an Honorary Yorkshireman award to England manager Gareth Southgate at the White Rose Awards in Harrogate last year.

The former boss of the agency has resigned "on health grounds with immediate" effect, Welcome to Yorkshire said in a statement.

The agency was responsible for organising the Tour de France's 2014 Grand Depart in Yorkshire and its subsequent legacy race, the Tour de Yorkshire, which has visited Scarborough every year since its inception.

It comes after concerns were raised in relation to Sir Gary "behaviour towards staff and his expenses", the statement added.

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But it said the resignation was not directly linked to the concerns raised.

Sir Gary has agreed to voluntarily reimburse Welcome to Yorkshire for "monies owed", the statement said.

In his own statement, Sir Gary apologised and asked for "time and space to heal".

He said: “Over the last ten and a half years I have always tried to set the highest standards of personal performance and leadership. Where this has been achieved, I am grateful and when, on occasions, I have fallen short, I apologise.

"My health is now my main priority. I ask for time and space to heal. It has been an honour and a privilege to lead such an inspirational organisation and work with such a creative and talented team.

“I know that Welcome to Yorkshire will continue to go from strength to strength and achieve many fantastic things over the coming years.”

Welcome to Yorkshire thanked Sir Gary for his "commitment and energy" during his time at the tourism agency.

The organisation said: "Sir Gary has led the transformation of Yorkshire’s profile, most notably through the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2014 and the subsequent legacy of the Tour de Yorkshire, which have significantly boosted the county’s economy. We wish him well for the future.”

Ron McMillan, Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It is very much business as usual for Welcome to Yorkshire beginning with Y19 on April 3 at The Royal Armouries in Leeds.

“Our tenth anniversary is shaping up to be our most exciting yet as we deliver an incredible programme of events and campaigns to continue to make Yorkshire a number one tourism destination.”