Hull council leader quits Welcome to Yorkshire board after being 'kept in dark' over Gary Verity investigation

Hull Council leader Stephen Brady has left the Welcome to Yorkshire board.
Hull Council leader Stephen Brady has left the Welcome to Yorkshire board.
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Hull City Council leader Stephen Brady has today quit the Welcome to Yorkshire board after not being informed of an investigation into ex-chief executive Sir Gary Verity prior to his recent resignation.

Coun Brady confirmed to The Yorkshire Post tonight that he had informed the chairman of the tourism board Ron McMillan of his decision.

He said: “I had a conversation with the chairman this morning and told him that I felt it was right to inform him that I was resigning forthwith and a letter will follow, which I have sent.”

Coun Brady was appointed to the Welcome to Yorkshire Board in December and attended his first and only meeting in March.

A Welcome to Yorkshire spokesperson said: “It’s understood Councillor Brady has resigned from the board at Welcome to Yorkshire, however we maintain a very close working relationship with Hull City Council to deliver their service level agreement.

“We understand the need for assurance to all of our partners and that’s why we are carrying out two independent investigations into expenses, behaviour and governance and the findings of these will be reported in a clear and transparent way in due course.”

Prior to confirming his resignation from the board, Coun Brady said he had not been given any details about the allegations against Verity involving expenses claims and behaviour towards staff and neither had he had prior notice about Sir Gary’s resignation from the tourism agency, which is partly funded by local councils.

“I found out through the media,” he said. “I absolutely didn’t have a clue. I was obviously very surprised by not being given the facts and I’m a great believer in full transparency.”

Sir Gary announced his resignation last month.

A Welcome to Yorkshire statement announcing Verity’s departure on March 22 said a board investigation had concluded that “Sir Gary made errors of judgement regarding his expenses at a very difficult time for him and his family”.

Last week, fellow board member Keith Stewart confirmed that allegations about Verity had been brought to the board at the end of January while the chief executive was on compassionate leave following the death of his sister and an internal investigation ordered.

Since his resignation, it has come to light Verity was given a final written warning for his behaviour towards staff in 2016 and sent to behavioural management counselling, while it has been reported he reimbursed around £40,000 in expense claims - a figure the agency has not confirmed or denied.

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