Former Welcome to Yorkshire employee ‘not surprised’ by claims against Sir Gary Verity

By Amy Goodall and Abbey Maclure

A former Welcome to Yorkshire employee has said he is “not surprised” at complaints against former chief executive Sir Gary Verity.

Sir Gary resigned last month on health grounds, but concerns have been raised about his expenses and behaviour towards staff.

Sean Murricane, who worked at the tourism agency from 2010 to 2012, recalled an inappropriate comment Sir Gary had made after a colleague’s pet chicken had been put down.

Speaking exclusively to Yorkshire Voice, he said: “I remember overhearing him and someone was talking about one of their chickens had died and he said ‘I hope you wrung his neck’.”

Sean then went on to add: “He didn’t particularly have much sympathy towards his staff.”

Sir Gary Verity was a key figure in bringing the Tour De France to Yorkshire in 2014, and founded the Tour de Yorkshire which last year generated nearly £100 million for the region.

 

Gary Verity at the route launch of the Tour De Yorkshire 2019.

Welcome to Yorkshire said it had investigated the allegations against Verity and found he “made errors of judgement regarding his expenses at a very difficult time for him and his family.”

The organisation said he had voluntarily agreed to reimburse Welcome to Yorkshire for the money owed.

Verity has been chief executive since October 2008 and was knighted in 2015.

A former Welcome to Yorkshire employee has said that working under Sir Gary Verity’s leadership put intense pressure on staff.

“He didn’t really recognise working hours… We were often employed for one thing and then used for absolutely everything.”

The former employee then went on to describe Sir Gary Verity’s leadership as “alpha” and “aggressive at times”.

It was announced on Friday  March 22 that he was to leave his position at the tourism agency.

Verity has said: “My health is now my main priority. I ask for time and space to heal.”

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