Sir Gary Verity resigns as chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire on ‘health grounds’

Sir Gary Verity, the man who brought the Grand Depart of the Tour de France to Britain, has quit as chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 7:53 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 7:58 pm
Sir Gary Verity, former Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire

In a statement, the organisation said Verity had stepped down due to ill health, but added that "concerns have been raised in relation to his behaviour towards staff and his expenses".

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

Welcome to Yorkshire were responsible for organising the Tour de France's 2014 Grand Depart in Yorkshire and its legacy event, the Tour de Yorkshire, the fifth edition of which will be staged in May.

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"As a responsible organisation Welcome to Yorkshire takes all allegations very seriously,” they said in the statement.

Welcome to Yorkshire also thanked the former boss for his “commitment and energy” during his 10 years with the tourism agency.

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

The 54-year-old released his own statement in which he 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.”

The organisation also made note of Sir Gary’s contribution. 

They 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.”