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Police consider findings of report into Welcome to Yorkshire expenses claims under Sir Gary Verity

Welcome to Yorkshire is funded by taxpayers' money and business subscriptions. Credit: PA

West Yorkshire Police is looking at a report into expense claims at Yorkshire's tourism agency following claims public money was "frittered way".

Accountancy firm BDO LLP was asked to produce the report following the resignation of Sir Gary Verity as the boss of Welcome to Yorkshire on health grounds in March.

It found that £26,000 claimed over six years were for expenses that should have been classed as "personal".

There were further claims for which their were no records, meaning that investigators were unable to say whether claims were legitimate.

There were two reports commissioned in the wake of Sir Gary's departure, along with a probe into the management culture at the agency following claims of bullying.

  • Jon Hill has this report:

In a sit-down chat with Keith Stewart, the interim Chair of Welcome To Yorkshire, Duncan Wood asked him if he thought he should resign now.

A spokesperson for Sir Gary said:

Gary has had only the briefest of opportunities to consider the reports that have been released today. When he stood down in March, he acknowledged that some errors had been made. As concerns expenses, all expenses went through the proper processes and were signed off by both the Chairman and the Audit committee.

Sir Gary is and has always been a passionate Yorkshireman, driven to see his county prosper, which it most certainly did under his leadership of WtY. He accepts his passion to succeed may on occasion not have been in-step with present day cultural norms, albeit many of the claims made by some of the individuals were wildly wide of the mark.

It was an honour and a privilege for Sir Gary to lead WtY and to develop the county’s profile and inward investment. He wishes his former colleagues the very best for the future as WtY builds upon the strong foundations his tenure provided.”

– Spokesperson for Sir Gary Verity