Honour should be considered for Yorkshire TDF boss says culture secretary

A knighthood should be considered for the tourism chief who helped bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire, the Culture Secretary has suggested.

Gary Verity.
Gary Verity.

Yorkshire hosted the first two stages of the 2014 tour, while the third ran from Cambridge to London, as the world famous cycling race returned to Britain for the first time since 2007.

Millions of spectators lined Yorkshire roads for the Grand Depart with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prime Minister David Cameron among the high profile visitors.

Tory Cabinet member Sajid Javid insisted the event has been a “great thing for Yorkshire”, as he was pressed to back a campaign to give a knighthood to Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome To Yorkshire.

Speaking in the Commons, Tory backbencher Philip Davies (Shipley) told Mr Javid: “After the great success of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire last year, which gave an estimated £100 million boost to the Yorkshire economy, are you as excited as everybody else in Yorkshire is about the route next week being declared for the Tour de Yorkshire - the new international cycling race which is being introduced?

“And would you like to join me in congratulating Gary Verity for the role he’s played in organising this, as well as bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire, and support my campaign for him to receive a knighthood in the next honour’s list?”

The Culture Secretary replied: “I agree very much with you.

“I remember visiting the Tour myself and being hugely impressed by the turnout, participation by people of all ages in terms of spectator sport and it’s been a great thing for Yorkshire.

“I think the new initiative is very welcome.

“The comments you’ve made about Gary Verity, I very much agree with you in terms of what he achieved for Yorkshire and it should be looked at.”