UK Minister Dramatically Resigns After Showing Up To Work Several Minutes Late

If you’re keen to hear the most stupidly English story imaginable, here it is: A British lord resigned instantly after arriving to work late, saying that he was “thoroughly ashamed” of his grave crime.

Though Michael Bates was only a couple of minutes late to the House of Lords, it meant he wasn’t there to answer a question from Baroness Ruth Lister. So he, uh, instantly resigned:

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.

During the five years in which it’s been my privilege to answer questions from this dispatcher 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.

I am thoroughly ashamed at not being in my place and therefore I shall be offering my resignation to the prime minister . . . with immediate effect.

Here’s the video. Absolute SCENES, folks:

As you can hear, the entire chamber bursts into a commotion of both laughter and angry booing. Some even visibly attempt to reach out and pull him back into the chamber.

Lord Bates is also a Conservative government minister, serving as Minister of State at the Department for International Development. It’s entirely possible he hates this job and will take any excuse to get out of it. Just theorising here.

Baroness Lister herself didn’t particularly want Bates to resign either. “Of all the ministers I’d want to cause to resign, he’d be the last,” she said.

Well, if it was a bluff, it worked. The UK government has refused Bates’ resignation, and it looks like he will absolutely continue in his post:

With typical sincerity, Lord Bates today offered to tender his resignation after missing the start of an oral questions session in the House of Lords, but his resignation was refused as it was judged this was unnecessary.

Sometimes a power move pays off.