A government minister resigned for being late --  but Theresa May has refused to accept it

Parliament TVLord Bates
  • Government minister resigns for being late for a question in the House of Lords.
  • Lord Bates says he is “thoroughly ashamed” of himself and walks out.
  • There are shouts of “no” across the chamber as he leaves.
  • Theresa May has refused to accept his resignation, and he has since unresigned.

LONDON – A minister in Theresa May’s government has resigned for being late.

International Development Minister Lord Bates apologised to the House of Lords for his “discourtesy” at not being available to answer a question on Wednesday.

“I’m thoroughly ashamed for not being in my place and so I therefore shall be offering my resignation to the prime minister with immediate effect,” he told peers.

There were shouts of “no” from across the chamber as Bates walked out, with several peers appearing to attempt to physically stop him from exiting.

Some peers were visibly in shock at the resignation.

House of LordsParliament TV

Labour’s leader in the House of Lords Baroness Smith immediately called for Lord Bates to retract his resignation.

“An apology from Lord Bates is perfectly sufficient,” she said.

“It was a minor discourtesy that any of us could be guilty of.”

Later on Wednesday, Lord Bates unresigned – after Theresa May refused to accept his resignation.

In a statement provided to journalists, a spokesperson for 10 Downing Street said: “With typical sincerity, Lord Bates today offer 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.”

They went on: “As a hard-working and diligent minister, it is typical of his approach that he takes his responsibilities to Parliament so seriously. He has received support from across the House and we are pleased that he has decided to continue in his important roles at the Department for International Development and HM Treasury.”

Watch the moment Lord Bates resigned:

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