Police probe continues into Welcome to Yorkshire expenses scandal

Welcome to Yorkshire's financial spending is under scrutiny.
Welcome to Yorkshire's financial spending is under scrutiny.

A police probe into thousands of pounds of expense claims at troubled tourist agency Welcome to Yorkshire remains ongoing, it has been confirmed.

West Yorkshire Police requested more information from Welcome to Yorkshire in July into the findings of an independent investigation ordered by the tourism agency following the resignation of ex-chief executive Sir Gary Verity in March.

A police spokesman told The Yorkshire Post today the force is continuing to take an interest in the matter.

“Enquiries remain ongoing,” he said.

The report by forensic accountants BDO identified around £26,000 worth of expenses had been claimed for ‘‘personal’’ items with no business justification, with Welcome to Yorkshire’s then interim chairman Keith Stewart subsequently saying all but around £200 of the claims related to Sir Gary, who resigned on health grounds in March.

Sir Gary, who declined to be interviewed for the independent review, subsequently repaid more than £25,000. A representative for Sir Gary said in July that all expenses “went through the proper processes and were signed off by both the Chairman and the Audit committee” at the company.

The review also said investigators had been unable to determine whether £900,000 worth of expenses it looked at from a six-year period had been “reasonable” because of a lack of clear spending policies.

The tourism agency, which receives millions in public sector funding, announced this week it is appointing former Bradford City chief operating officer James Mason as its new chief executive.