Cheerio then! Image via YouTube.

SHOCKING scenes in the UK’s House of Lords today as Lord Michael Bates, the Minister for International Development, said he would resign his post after arriving late to questions from his colleagues.

Bates missed a question from Labour peer Baroness Lister of Burtersett during a regular session in which government ministers answer queries from the opposition. After offering his “sincere apologies,” Bates said he was “thoroughly ashamed” and would be offering his resignation to the Prime Minister “with immediate effect.” Bates then left the chamber as his colleagues shouted “no!” in response to his astonishing exit.

Was there perhaps some ulterior motive to Bates’ sudden departure? Perhaps he’s embroiled in a tawdry affair, or is about to be exposed for regularly making love to Gregg’s Steak Bake pasties? Or perhaps he’s just a bit of a nutter: the Telegraph reports that in March 2016, Bates “resigned as minister of state at the Home Office in order to undertake a 2,000-mile solo walk from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro,” returning to government in October.

Lord Bates, thank you for single-handedly making it more difficult for me to convince my American colleagues that Britain isn’t a ridiculous throwback where everyone is slightly barmy and liable to shout “ANYONE FOR CRICKET?” at their mother’s funeral.