A session of Britsh Parliament has attracted much attention after a member of the House of Lords resigned for a “minor discourtesy.”
As The Guardian has explained, Lord Michael Bates, minister at the Department for International Development, made the decision to step down from his decision earlier in the week. Bates said that he was “thoroughly ashamed at not being in my place” after missing the opportunity to ask a question due to tardiness.
“I want to offer my sincere apologies to Baroness Lister for my discourtesy in not being in my place to answer her question on a very important matter at the beginning of questions,” he apologized. “During the five years in which it’s been my privilege to answer questions from this dispatch box on behalf of the government, I’ve always believed that we should rise to the highest possible standards of courtesy and respect in responding on behalf of the government to the legitimate questions of the legislature.”
Bates announced his resignation, but it was met with a resounding “no” from nearly everyone in the room.
The moment stood out in minds of observers as possibly the most British resignation ever.
Some had commentary on the “new bar for resignation.”
At least one observer had a theory about the timing of Bates’ actions.
Following the resignation, several sought to change his mind.
Bates’ resignation was rejected.
“Of all the ministers I’d want to cause to resign, he’d be the last,” said Baroness Ruth Lister, a colleague, after the ordeal.