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Decision comes just weeks before the most high profile Tour de Yorkshire yet

Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity has resigned from Welcome to Yorkshire on health grounds with immediate effect. The statement adds: “Although not directly linked to Sir Gary’s resignation, concerns have been raised in relation to his behaviour towards staff and his expenses.”

A spokesperson said: “Welcome to Yorkshire would like to place on record its thanks to Sir Gary for the commitment and energy he has demonstrated during his ten years at Welcome to Yorkshire.

“Sir Gary has led the transformation of Yorkshire’s profile, most notably through the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2014 and the subsequent legacy of the Tour de Yorkshire, which have significantly boosted the county’s economy. We wish him well for the future.”

Verity’s resignation comes just five weeks before the highest-profile edition of the Tour de Yorkshire so far with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome due to take part and with the launch of Team Ineos following the petrochemical firm’s takeover of Team Sky.

It also comes just a few months before Yorkshire hosts the road World Championships for the first time. The BBC reports that Verity had also been in talks with La Vuelta to bring the start of the Spanish Grand Tour to the region.

Welcome to Yorkshire do not go into details about Verity’s health problems, although he did undergo surgery following heart problems in 2013.

Regarding the concerns raised about his expenses and behaviour towards staff, the spokesperson said: “The Board has investigated these and concluded that Sir Gary made errors of judgement regarding his expenses at a very difficult time for him and his family. Sir Gary has agreed to voluntarily reimburse Welcome to Yorkshire for monies owed.”

Verity said: “Over the last ten and a half years I have always tried to set the highest standards of personal performance and leadership.  Where this has been achieved, I am grateful and when, on occasions, I have fallen short, I apologise. My health is now my main priority. I ask for time and space to heal.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to lead such an inspirational organisation and work with such a creative and talented team.

“I know that Welcome to Yorkshire will continue to go from strength to strength and achieve many fantastic things over the coming years.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.