Representatives of ex-Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity have said a £151,000 ‘termination costs’ figure made public by the company last week “does not reflect what he received from his employer” following his resignation in March.
Sir Gary, who was paid £243,000 per year, resigned on health grounds in March in the midst of expenses and bullying allegations.
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Last week, Welcome to Yorkshire’s new chairman Peter Box took the step of ordering the publication of two previously-classified reports into the company’s financial position, with some details partially redacted.
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A press release giving a breakdown of the near-£500,000 costs surrounding the fallout from Sir Gary’s departure was also issued at the same time and listed £151,000 of ‘payments in lieu of notice, including NI [National Insurance] and pension’ among that total. But at that stage, Welcome to Yorkshire said it was unable to confirm whether that money related to Sir Gary or any other party.
However, the fully-unredacted financial reports were leaked to The Yorkshire Post and one of them, written by now-deposed interim chairman Keith Stewart, listed “Investigations and CEO termination costs to WTY” as “£475k”.
This newspaper then asked WTY for a precise breakdown of what the £151,000 termination costs for Sir Gary was made up of.
A spokeswoman said in response: “The £151k figure is for payments in lieu of notice, which include NI and pension. We are unable to comment further.”
A spokesman for Sir Gary Verity said it was “entirely false and misleading” to suggest this figure related only to him.
“The figure of £151,000 does not reflect what Sir Gary received from his employer Welcome To Yorkshire. To insinuate that this now-much quoted sum relates solely to Sir Gary is entirely false and misleading,” he said.
Sir Gary’s resignation was announced on March 22 after The Sunday Times newspaper had presented Welcome to Yorkshire with what it termed as “evidence of bullying and erroneous expense claims” earlier in the week.
The WTY spokeswoman said that “discussions and decisions” about Sir Gary’s resignation and his termination payments “were made prior to the contact from The Sunday Times”.
Independent inquiries reported in July that Sir Gary’s behaviour towards staff had “fallen short” of expected standards, while it was found he had claimed around £26,000 in “personal” expenses “not incurred wholly for the benefit of Welcome to Yorkshire” – money that he then repaid.