The director general of the Royal Armouries, the UK’s national collection of arms and armour in Leeds, Jonathon Riley, has been suspended on full play while there is an ongoing review of “issues raised by auditors”.
Andrew Scott, previously the director of the National Museum of Science and Industry and former director of York’s National Railway Museum, has been made interim chief executive officer and account officer at the Royal Armouries while Riley is being reviewed.
Riley, once an army commander in Iraq and former deputy commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, was a senior Lieutenant General. First appointed in 2009 after 36 years in the army including time in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan, he described position at the museum, a post which has existed since the 15th century, as his “dream job”.
Riley is the formal accounting officer, which means that he was responsible for financial and auditing matters.
Riley was made director general when Paul Evans resigned. Evans had also been previously been suspended and investigated because of “potential irregularities” at the museum. However, Evans fell ill and was unable to attend hearings so the review was stalled.
Last year, Riley said: “Do I miss the dangers and challenges of military life?
“Yes, of course, after that amount of time you’re bound to, but every morning I get out of bed and think to myself, ‘I’m the Master of the Armouries, how great is that?’”
The specificities of the auditing issue remain undisclosed. Recent accounts from the museum do not appear to disclose any problems. The Royal Armouries said it was unable to make any further comment about Riley’s suspension or the ongoing review.