A member of the UK House of Lords sparked disbelief when he resigned after being a couple of minutes late and for not being at his place to answer a question from a peer.
International Development Minister Michael Bates began calmly enough when he said:
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 dispatch 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.
Then came the shocker:
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.
He then left the house, leaving behind stunned peers, some of whom exclaimed in disbelief, “No! No!”
A friend of mine wrote to me: “Can this (a resignation for arriving late in Parliament) happen here?”
“In your dreams,” I replied, as long as there is no change.