Two investigations into Sir Gary Verity’s behaviour and expenses to get underway

The Board of Welcome to Yorkshire has confirmed that two independent investigations will take place into behaviour and expenses concerns during Sir Gary Verity’s tenure as Chief Executive.

External, independent organisations will be appointed to carry out these investigations, said Welcome to Yorkshire. One investigation will look into concerns around expenses and the other into behaviour, since Sir Gary’s appointment in 2008.

Welcome to Yorkshire said: “As part of both of these, Welcome to Yorkshire’s policies, procedures and governance will be assessed, and where required, recommendations for improvements will be made.”

Sir Gary resigned two weeks ago with immediate effect, after which the organisation revealed that “concerns have been raised in relation to his behaviour towards staff and his expenses”.

Sir Gary “has agreed to voluntarily reimburse Welcome to Yorkshire for monies owed”, the agency said, without disclosing how much will be repaid. The most recent published accounts, for the 2018 financial year, showed he earned more than £240,000.

Board Member Deborah Egan OBE added: “Welcome to Yorkshire is a responsible organisation which has a duty to be transparent and accountable. As soon as the independent organisations have been appointed, anyone who believes they have been affected by these issues will be invited to come forward. They will be fully supported, and all accounts will be treated in the strictest of confidence.”

The findings of these investigations, which the organisation said would be completed in a “thorough and timely” manner, will be made public.

The Board has written to West Yorkshire Police to inform them of these investigations.