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Yorkshire tourism chief "should be knighted" for Grand Depart efforts
12:30pm Thursday 10th July 2014 in Sport
THE Yorkshire tourism chief who helped bring the Tour de France to "God's Own County" should be knighted, an MP has said.
Tory Philip Davies (Shipley) called for Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome To Yorkshire, to be honoured with a knighthood for his leading of the bid to bring the cycle race to the county.
Millions of spectators lined Yorkshire roads for the Grand Depart of this year's edition of the Tour last weekend with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prime Minister David Cameron among the high profile visitors.
Mr Davies' intervention came at an opportune moment as Mr Cameron was present in the Commons chamber during the business question.
Replying, Commons Leader Andrew Lansley described Mr Davies' suggestion as "extremely interesting".
Mr Davies said: "Can we have a debate on the success of the Tour de France in Yorkshire which caused great excitement in the county and showcased what a great county Yorkshire is?
"Such a debate would highlight the strength of feeling in Yorkshire that Gary Verity, who did so much to bring the Tour de France to Yorkshire, and also for other things he's done, should be recognised in the next honours list, perhaps with a knighthood.
"And if we can't have the debate I hope the Prime Minister, who has very kindly come in to listen to my question, will take that message ringing in his ears as he leaves the chamber."
Mr Lansley replied: "Well you have made your point extremely well, the Prime Minister will have heard it, and I know the Prime Minister will have shared literally with millions of people the pleasure of seeing the Tour de France in Yorkshire during the last weekend.
"If I might say so I took particular pleasure in seeing the Tour de France pass through my constituency on Monday as well.
"But you make an extremely interesting and good point."