In Depth

WATCH: Lord Bates stuns House of Lords by resigning for lateness

PM rejects ‘thoroughly ashamed’ peer’s resignation from government post after he misses a question

lord_bates.jpg

Lords Bates shocked fellow peers yesterday by apologising for his late arrival with an attempt to resign from his government post.

The minister in Department for International Development (DFID) was scheduled to answer a question on income inequality from Labour peer Baroness Lister at 3pm on Wednesday.

However, he was absent from the chamber when the moment came, and Lister’s question was instead answered by the House of Lords’ chief whip, John Taylor.

Bates, a peer since 2008 who has served in several government departments until joining DFID in 2016, arrived a few minutes later.

Clearly distressed, Bates offered “sincere apologies” to Baronness Lister for his “discourtesy”.

“I’m thoroughly ashamed at not being in my place and therefore I shall be offering my resignation to the Prime Minister with immediate effect,” he said.

Peers were clearly stunned by the abrupt announcement, which was met with cries of disbelief and a resounding “no” from the house.

Amid protestations from the benches, Bates gathered his papers and left the chamber. Video of the dramatic moment shows several peers reaching out to try and prevent Bates from leaving.

Lister later told The Guardian that Bates was “one of the most courteous of ministers” and that she had sent him a letter asking him to reconsider.

“The response from our benches was a sort of spontaneous ‘no’,” she said. “I’m not sure we’d respond to many other ministers in that way,” she said.

Hours later it was announced that the peer will be staying in his post. Theresa May declined to accept Bates’ resignation, which a No. 10 spokesperson described as offered with “typical sincerity” but unnecessary, the Daily Mirror reports.

Recommended

Five revelations from the BBC’s Princes and the Press that sparked a royal feud
Harry and William
Behind the scenes

Five revelations from the BBC’s Princes and the Press that sparked a royal feud

‘Is shouting over the Channel really the reality of Global Britain?’
The White Cliffs of Dover
Instant Opinion

‘Is shouting over the Channel really the reality of Global Britain?’

Will Britain comply with new Covid rules?
A police officer wearing a mask
Today’s big question

Will Britain comply with new Covid rules?

UK’s latest Covid travel rules explained
Covid-19 test centre at Heathrow Terminal 5
Getting to grips with . . .

UK’s latest Covid travel rules explained

Popular articles

Are we heading towards World War Three?
Vladimir Putin
In Depth

Are we heading towards World War Three?

Is Bosnia on the brink of war?
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik
In Depth

Is Bosnia on the brink of war?

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

The Week Footer Banner