Tour de France Yorkshire tourism boss 'should be knighted'

Gary Verity (left) and Christian Prudhomme Gary Verity (left) should be knighted for his work to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire, according to Shipley MP Philip Davies

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The Yorkshire tourism chief who helped bring the Tour de France to the county should be knighted, an MP has said.

Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, has called for Welcome To Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity to be honoured.

About 2.5 million people watched the first two stages in Yorkshire on Saturday and Sunday.

Mr Davies said Mr Verity should be recognised in the next honours list and called for a House of Commons debate on the success of the Tour.

He said: "Such a debate would highlight the strength of feeling in Yorkshire that Gary Verity, who did so much to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire, and also for other things he's done, should be recognised in the next honours list, perhaps with a knighthood."

'Millions of people'

Commons Leader Andrew Lansley described Mr Davies' suggestion, made while Prime Minister David Cameron was present, as "extremely interesting".

"Well you have made your point extremely well, the Prime Minister will have heard it, and I know the Prime Minister will have shared literally with millions of people the pleasure of seeing the Tour de France in Yorkshire during the last weekend," said Mr Lansley, the Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire.

"If I might say so I took particular pleasure in seeing the Tour de France pass through my constituency on Monday as well.

"But you make an extremely interesting and good point."

Crowds on Tour de France route About 2.5 million people watched the first two stages in Yorkshire at the weekend

The 101st Tour de France saw riders compete over two stages in Yorkshire, the first between Leeds and Harrogate and the second between York and Sheffield.

A third stage took place between Cambridge and London on Monday.

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