Lord Michael Bates was expected in the House of Lords at 3 pm on Wednesday to answer a question from Labour’s Baroness Lister. He missed it, and he’s very, very sorry. So sorry, in fact, that you can’t fire him because he quits.
The BBC reports that Lister’s question was answered by the Lords chief whip, John Taylor, when Bates failed to show. When he did arrive, Bates stepped up to apologize to Lister and the assembly; he then abruptly resigned, dropped the mic to gasps of astonishment, and walked out.
The Lords Labour leader, Angela Smith, stepped up after Bates and stated, “An apology from the noble Lord Bates is perfectly sufficient. It was a minor discourtesy of which any of us could be guilty of on occasion.”
For a British Lord to resign over an awkward moment is almost too on brand, and a sad comparison to the state of affairs in the U.S. Keep in mind that Bates is a conservative and imagine what a Republican would have to do to so immediately police themselves and leave office. Murder an eagle on live TV?
The Guardian reports that it has not been confirmed that Bates really is gone, or if the pleas of his colleagues will lure him back to future punctual attendance. Honestly, if someone is that quick to resign, they probably have been looking for an excuse to leave! Bates is a big supporter of charity walks, going as many as 3,000 miles to bring attention to various causes. Let the man walk. It’s his true passion.