Welcome to Yorkshire: Gary Verity's behaviour 'unacceptable'

Sir Gary VerityImage source, PA
Image caption,
Sir Gary Verity resigned from Welcome to Yorkshire after 10 years as chief executive

Former Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity subjected staff to "completely unacceptable" behaviour, an ex-colleague has said.

Sir Gary, 54, quit on health grounds on Friday, though concerns had been raised about his behaviour and expenses.

Ex-head of communications Dee Marshall said he had "really hurt people" in the organisation.

In a statement, Sir Gary apologised if he had not met "the highest standards of personal performance".

Image caption,
Dee Marshall worked at Welcome to Yorkshire from 2009 to 2016

Speaking to BBC Look North, Ms Marshall said: "I personally was not bullied but I witnessed behaviour that was completely unacceptable in my opinion, and a lot of people were very hurt, very hurt, some of them will never come back from it."

She also said that while Sir Gary was part of the team that brought the opening stages of the 2014 Tour de France to Yorkshire, his apparent failings must not be overlooked.

"I don't think that's on. I think you have got to think about the money he took and how he hurt people, really hurt people," she said.

Another former member of staff said Sir Gary had taken Yorkshire to "places we could never have imagined, but at what cost to the people who worked for him?".

Image source, PA
Image caption,
More than two million people watched the opening stages of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire

Sir Rodney Walker, who chaired the organising committee for the opening stages of the Tour de France, said he had been "shocked" to see Sir Gary's tenure come to an end in "such a muddled way", but said he was not aware of any of the allegations.

"He is a very charismatic man and he would not have been as successful as he has been in getting Yorkshire not just a national but international profile if he was not the man he is," he said.

"But in terms of any suggestion that he behaved improperly towards his staff I've never heard or seen any of that myself."

Welcome to Yorkshire said on Friday Sir Gary's resignation was not linked to the allegations, adding that he had volunteered to repay monies owed.

It said that following an investigation, the board had concluded Sir Gary had made "made errors of judgement regarding his expenses at a very difficult time for him and his family".

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