YORKSHIRE cricketer Andrew Gale was among dozens of people who took to Twitter to express their shock and dismay that Welcome to Yorkshire tourism boss Gary Verity was overlooked in the New Year Honours list.
Gale summed up the thoughts of many people across Yorkshire with a tweet which said: “Can someone tell me how Gary Verity hasn’t got an MBE? Brought and organised one of the best sporting events the country’s ever seen?!”
Mr Verity, who played a pivotal role in bringing the Grade Depart of the Tour de France to Yorkshire, wasn’t among those honoured by the Queen despite several social media campaign demanding an honour on his behalf.
The lack of recognition for Mr Verity – who is chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire – surprised many in the world of business, politics and public relations.
Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies said: “It is completely unacceptable for Gary Verity to have been overlooked. Should have been knighted.”
Arif Ahmad, a senior partner with PwC in Leeds, said he couldn’t imagine “anyone more deserving this year” than Mr Verity.
And Di Burton, managing director of Cicada Communications in Harrogate, said it was a “sad omission”.
Karen Swainston, head of corporate relations for Barclays in Yorkshire, tweeted: “Gosh - can’t believe no recognition at all?”
Claire Young, public speaker and Yorkshire businesswoman, said on Twitter: “The Government wanted Edinburgh to get Le Tour and don’t think GV (Gary Verity) popular with them for fighting for Yorkshire.”
Jonathan Riley, head of tax at Grant Thornton, said it was good to see “unsung folk” honoured but said Mr Verity deserved recognition for his charity work.
Editor of the Yorkshire-based Dalesman magazine, Adrian Braddy, said on Twitter: “No New Year honour for Gary Verity. Decidedly odd decision that demonstrates what’s wrong with the system.”
He later added: “I know people who got a gong after lobbying influential friends to nominate them. Can’t be right.”
Several of his followers on twitter agreed.
Business development expert Chris Shaw said: “An astonishing omission/snub. Gary Verity was instrumental in one of the most memorable events ever.”
Mr Shaw said the honours system was “hardly democratic” and the example of Mr Verity “does demonstrate how back-scatchingly partisan it all is.”
He added: “Govt wanted Scotland, in line with the (then) forthcoming #indyref vote. Cynical politicking.”
Leeds Council’s chief executive Tom Riordan said he was “disappointed” that Mr Verity wasn’t honoured.
A spokesperson for Welcome to Yorkshire said it was not appropriate for Mr Verity to comment.
Back in July Mr Verity told The Yorkshire Post that he was not expecting to receive an honour, saying: “I am not expecting to get any sort of gong, or whatever you want to call it. You can put money on it.
“I am not the most popular with the establishment and there are a lot of politicians who would quite happily not have had it happened like it did last weekend - but that is for them.”