Leeds & West Yorkshire

Welcome to Yorkshire chairman Ron McMillan resigns

Ron McMillan
Image caption Ron McMillan chaired Welcome to Yorkshire, where two independent investigations are under way

The chairman of a troubled tourism body has resigned.

Ron McMillan has stood down from Welcome to Yorkshire, where two investigations are under way.

Sir Gary Verity, the organisation's chief executive, paid back £40,000 expenses before resigning on health grounds last month.

Interim chairman Keith Stewart said the body was "committed to making any changes which may be needed to help rebuild trust in the organisation".

Welcome to Yorkshire said the results of both independent investigations would be known by June.

One into expenses, by independent forensic accountants BDO, is to go back at least six years and look at all expenses claimed by current and recent members of the senior management team and board.

The second, by external lawyers Clarion, will examine its culture, governance, procedures and management.

Past and present employees would be interviewed confidentially and a report made available, said the tourism body.

Mr Stewart said: "Now the appropriate investigations are in place, he [Mr McMillan] felt it was the right time to step down to allow the organisation to move forward; this was supported by the board."

All appropriate board meeting documents were to be released in future, including agendas, papers and minutes, he announced.

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

Sir Gary resigned in March after an investigation found he had "made errors of judgement regarding his expenses".

He agreed to voluntarily reimburse Welcome to Yorkshire for monies owed.

The 54-year-old had held the role since October 2008, but rose to public prominence when he brought the world's biggest cycling race, the Tour de France, to Yorkshire in 2014.

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