THE board of Welcome to Yorkshire is coming under pressure to release more details about the shock revelation that its high-profile chief executive had stood down amid claims of bullying and abusing his expenses.

It was announced late on Friday night that Sir Gary Verity was no longer in post due to health reasons, but the contents of an internal investigation into his behaviour have not been released.

Now, calls have been made for the chairman of the board, Ron McMillan, to stand down from the position he has held since 2015.

The Northern Echo:

Ron McMillan, tourist board chairman

Susan Briggs, director of The Tourism Network, an organisation which advises hundreds of small businesses and tourism bodies in Yorkshire, is calling for a full review of the tourism board to ensure the problems are not ‘simply swept under the carpet’.

“We need a full review to make clear to people exactly what has been going on,” she said. “We also need to make it clear that there a lot of good staff at Welcome to Yorkshire and they need to be supported.

“You have to remember that there is a lot of public money invested in the body and people deserve to know how that money has been spent.

“I think it is time for the chairman to resign and get everything out into the open – we need transparency to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“You get the feeling that they want to just sweep this under the carpet but that can’t be allowed to happen.”

According to The Sunday Times, the organisation has hired the accountancy giant KPMG to conduct an investigation and has so far refused to disclose further details of Sir Gary’s expenses claims.

Reports claim that at least three former staff members are known to have given evidence to an inquiry into his 'bullying' behaviour and the former chief executive was given a 'final written warning' in 2017.

Leeds City Council is one of the many local authorities and businesses to invest in the tourism body, which helped to secure the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014 and spearheaded the subsequent Tour de Yorkshire.

A council spokesperson said: “We have always supported Welcome to Yorkshire and the incredible work they have done in putting the region on the map and showing everyone what a fantastic place Yorkshire is. We will continue to work alongside them in future.”