EXCLUSIVE: Sir Gary Verity not under police investigation over expenses scandal

A tourism chief for Yorkshire who resigned amid allegations over expenses and behaviour towards staff will not be reported to police, it has been confirmed today.

Sir Gary Verity, 54, a sheep farmer from the Yorkshire Dales and former chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, left his post on Friday citing health concerns.

Now Welcome to Yorkshire has revealed it has decided to keep its investigations internal rather than referring the matters to police.

Ron McMillan, chair of Welcome to Yorkshire board, said: “The board don’t believe that Sir Gary Verity’s expenses require police investigation.

“During a difficult time for Gary he failed to follow the correct expense procedures. We are now getting those policies and procedures reviewed.”

The Sunday Times revealed that among the expenses claimed by Mr Verity, who was on a pay packet of £243,000 a year, was a payment for the funeral of his sister who died in January last year.

Susan Briggs, who runs marketing consultancy Tourism Knowhow, said she had had concerns about Welcome to Yorkshire for some time.

She said: “At various times I have raised concerns about the way that Welcome to Yorkshire is managed, by its lack of transparency over how significant sums of public money are spent and how decisions are made.

“No matter how good any organisation or activity is, periodic reviews are important. After 10 years, and now with Gary’s departure, surely it’s time for a proper review?” 

Welcome to Yorkshire has said Mr Verity intends to reimburse the organisation for any money owed.

Mr 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.”

West Yorkshire Police have declined to comment.