Britain's Lord Bates is clearly a man who values punctuality: After arriving a few minutes late for a session in the House of Lords on Wednesday, the lawmaker declared that he was "thoroughly ashamed"—and resigned on the spot. Bates, a minister at the Department for International Development, apologized profusely to Baroness Lister of Burtersett for not being present for a question on income inequality he was scheduled to answer, CNN reports. "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," he said before walking out of the chamber to cries of protest, the Guardian reports. Bates, a Conservative, was appointed to the House of Lords for life in 2008. Colleagues including Lister urged him to reconsider his resignation—and the government refused to accept it. "With typical sincerity, Lord Bates today offered to tender his resignation, but his resignation was refused as it was judged this was unnecessary," a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May told the Evening Standard.