Exclusive – Sir Gary Verity’s Royal role as Deputy Lieutenant on hold pending Welcome to Yorkshire scandal inquiries

SIR Gary Verity has performed no duties in his senior role representing the Queen since quitting scandal-hit Welcome to Yorkshire amidst claims of bullying and expenses impropriety, and will not do so until further notice.

Sir Gary Verity DL resigned as chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire in March. He is also a deputy lieutenant of West Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire Post can exclusively reveal that Sir Gary, born in Leeds, has not undertaken any duties as a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire since he left the tourism body in March.

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No decision on future involvement in the role for the 54-year-old will be made until parallel inquiries into Sir Gary’s expense claims – he has repaid £40,000 – and allegations of bullying towards staff have been published.

Sir Gary Verity DL was instrumental in bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014.

Knighted in June 2015 after bringing the Tour de France to the county, Sir Gary was appointed in May last year to support Ed Anderson, the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, in his work as the Queen’s representative.

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An unpaid civic role which involves attending civic events, hosting the Royal family on visits and overseeing nominations for official honours, it entitles recipients to carry the letters DL after their name.

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Almost every Welcome to Yorkshire press release from last May until this March, including the resignation statement, referred to ‘Sir Gary Verity DL’.

A statement issued on behalf of the West Yorkshire Lieutenancy said: “Sir Gary Verity was appointed as one of West Yorkshire’s 65 Deputy Lieutenants (DLs) in May 2018. At the Lord-Lieutenant’s discretion, DLs may assist the Lord-Lieutenant with his or her duties.

“We are aware of the investigations commissioned by Welcome to Yorkshire. Sir Gary has not performed any duties as a DL since his resignation from Welcome to Yorkshire in March 2019, and this will remain the case whilst investigations are ongoing.”

Sir Gary’s legal representatives offered no comment.

It is understood to be very rare for deputy lieutenants to be stripped of their official status and Mr Anderson is understood to be seeking advice on the options open to him. A spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said it was a matter for the Cabinet Office – the Whitehall department which also oversees honours.

Officials there say questions over a deputy lieutenant’s conduct “would be considered on a case-by-case basis by all parties involved”.

This newspaper revealed earlier this week that Sir Gary had not formally participated in the two inquiries which have now been concluded. His lawyers insist that he has been “voluntarily assisting” the investigations.