A British member of the House of Lords briefly quit his job this week because he was late to work.
Lord Michael Bates, who is the junior minister in the U.K. Department of International Development, arrived late to Baroness Lister of Burtersett’s speech at 3 p.m. on Wednesday in the House of Lords. Feeling ashamed, he announced his resignation, according to CNN.
“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 said.
Treasury Minister Lord Bates just resigned from the government after apologising for missing a question from Labour's Baroness Lister of Burtersett. pic.twitter.com/3hLXmaDC2B— Richard Morris (@imrichardmorris) January 31, 2018
"During the five years of which it's been my privilege to answer questions from the despatch box on behalf of the government, I've always believed we should offer — rise — to the highest possible standards of courtesy and respect in responding on behalf of the government to the legitimate questions of the legislature,” he said. "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. I do apologize."
Bates walked out of the chamber despite other Lords protesting for him to stay, according to The Washington Post.
Baroness Smith of Basildon interrupted a speech in the House of Lords to talk about Bates.
“An apology from Lord Bates is perfectly sufficient. It was a minor discourtesy of which any of us can be guilty of on occasion,” she said, according to The Washington Post.
Later in the day, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said May wouldn’t accept the resignation, the BBC reported, and that Bates decided to continue his role.
"With typical sincerity, Lord Bates today offered to tender his resignation, but his resignation was refused as it was judged this was unnecessary,” the spokesman told BBC. "As a hard-working and diligent minister, it is typical of his approach that he takes his responsibilities to Parliament so seriously.”