Welcome to Yorkshire boss Sir Gary Verity resigns amid expenses investigation

Verity was a key figure in bringing the Tour de France to the UK and founding the Tour de Yorkshire

Sir Gary Verity has resigned from Welcome to Yorkshire (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sir Gary Verity has resigned from Welcome to Yorkshire amid an investigation into his behaviour towards staff and his expenses.

Verity, director of the Tour de Yorkshire, left his position as chief executive of the tourism agency on “health grounds”, it was announced on Friday (March 22).

He had been a key figure in bringing the Tour de France Grand Départ to Yorkshire in 2014, and founding the Tour de Yorkshire on the back of its success.

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Welcome to Yorkshire announced the resignation in a statement, adding that concerns have been raised in relation to his behaviour towards staff and his expenses, but that this was not directly linked to his departure.

Verity 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 said it has investigated the allegations against Verity and found he “made errors of judgement regarding his expenses at a very difficult time for him and his family.”

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The organisation said he has voluntarily agreed to reimburse Welcome to Yorkshire for the money owed.

Verity has been chief executive since October 2008 and was knighted in 2015 for “services to tourism and the Tour de France Grand Départ 2014.”

Earlier this year the 54-year-old was linked with the Premier League’s chief executive job and was reportedly in talks with the football organisation about taking on the role.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.