By UK Parliament [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons
This afternoon, a Conservative minister resigned part way through a debate that occurred in the House of Lords, because he said that he was “ashamed” about missing a question that was raised by a member of the opposition.
Lord Bates is an international development minister. He missed the start of a debate regarding income inequality, pushing Lords Chief Whip Lord Taylor to take his place in order to answer the opening question that was raised by Baroness Lister.
A few minutes later, he arrived and after little while, he announced that he would be standing down with immediate effect.
Lord Bates informed his fellow peers: “I have always believed we should rise to the highest possible standards of courtesy and respect in responding on behalf the government to the legitimate questions of the legislature.
“I am thoroughly ashamed of not being in my place, and therefore I shall be offering my resignation to the Prime Minister with immediate effect.”
Baroness Smith, the Labour peer, stressed that there was no reason to resign for the “minor discourtesy,” informing Bates that all that was needed was an apology. However, the minister turned and walked out of the chamber to calls of “no.”