The Lord Bates
Official portrait, 2019
Minister of State for International Development
In office
14 October 2016 – 23 April 2019
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Preceded byThe Baroness Anelay of St Johns
Succeeded byThe Baroness Sugg
Minister of State for Home Affairs
In office
14 May 2015 – 31 March 2016
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byLynne Featherstone
Succeeded byThe Lord Keen of Elie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Criminal Information
In office
6 August 2014 – 14 May 2015
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Lord Taylor of Holbeach
Succeeded byThe Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Government Whip
In office
7 October 2013 – 6 August 2014
Prime MinisterDavid Cameron
Preceded byThe Baroness Stowell of Beeston
Succeeded byThe Lord Ashton of Hyde
Paymaster General
In office
21 November 1996 – 2 May 1997
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byDavid Willetts
Succeeded byGeoffrey Robinson
Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
In office
17 October 1995 – 11 December 1996
Prime MinisterJohn Major
Preceded byAndrew MacKay
Succeeded byGyles Brandreth
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
7 July 2008
Life Peerage
Member of Parliament
for Langbaurgh
In office
9 April 1992 – 8 April 1997
Preceded byAshok Kumar
Succeeded byConstituency abolished, lost to Ashok Kumar in Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
Personal details
Born (1961-05-26) 26 May 1961 (age 62)
Political partyConservative
  • Carole Whitfield
    (div. 2008)
  • Xuelin Li
    (m. 2012)

Michael Walton Bates, Baron Bates (born 26 May 1961) is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom serving in the House of Lords since 2008 having previously represented the constituency of Langbaurgh in the House of Commons from 1992 to 1997.

From 2014 to 2015, he was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Criminal Information at the Home Office. In May 2015 he was appointed Minister of State in the Home Office.[1] In March 2016, he resigned as Minister of State[2] in order to undertake a 2000-mile solo walk from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro to raise awareness for the Olympic truce.[3][4]

He returned to government as a Minister of State in the Department for International Development in October 2016. He offered his resignation on 31 January 2018 for showing "discourtesy" after arriving one minute late for a debate in the chamber but it was not accepted by the Prime Minister.[5] In April 2019, Bates submitted his second resignation from the position and vacated his role as Minister of State.[6][7]

Early life and education

Born in Gateshead in 1961, Bates attended Heathfield Senior High School and Gateshead College. In 1987, he was part of a team who bid successfully for a City Technology College to be located in Gateshead and in 1990, Emmanuel College was formally opened and is one of only three remaining CTCs in England not to convert into academies. He also has an MBA from Wadham College, Oxford.

Political career

Bates joined the Conservative Party in Gateshead in 1979, later becoming Chairman of Gateshead Conservative Association. He was a founder member of Gateshead Young Conservatives, Chairman of Northern Area Young Conservatives and a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Young Conservatives from 1984 to 1989.

He contested several elections to Gateshead Borough Council for the Conservative Party between 1983 and 1989. At the 1987 general election, he stood for parliament for the first time, contesting the Tyne Bridge parliamentary constituency, which was retained by the Labour Party. Bates contested the November 1991 by-election in Langbaurgh caused by the death of Conservative MP Richard Holt. He lost the election to Labour's Ashok Kumar.

House of Commons

Five months after his defeat in the by-election, a general election was held. Bates was elected for Langbaurgh, defeating Kumar. Bates was appointed as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Nicholas Scott, Minister of State at the Department of Social Security in October, 1992. In November 1993, he voted against a government proposal to increase MP's salaries at a time when other public sector employees were receiving no increase and as a result was forced to resign his junior post in the government as a ministerial aide.[8]

In May 1994, he returned to the government as a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Sir John Wheeler, Minister of State in the Northern Ireland Office and two months later was appointed to his first full ministerial role as an Assistant Government whip. In 1995, he was promoted to be a Government Whip (Lord Commissioner of the Treasury), and in 1996 was appointed Paymaster General in the Cabinet Office and Sponsor Minister for the North-East of England, posts which he held until May 1997.

1997 to 2008

As the Langbaurgh constituency was abolished for the 1997 general election, Bates was selected as the candidate for the seat of Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, which contained most of the wards from Langbaurgh, but he lost to Ashok Kumar in the third contest between the two men in less than six years. After losing the election, Bates attended Wadham College, Oxford and Saïd Business School, graduating from Oxford University in 1998 with a master's degree in Business Administration (MBA). Bates served as a member of SaÏd Business School's Business Advisory Forum from 1999 until 2011.

Between 1998 and 2005, Bates served as Director of Consultancy & Research at Oxford Analytica.[9] Between 2006 and 2008, Bates researched ethics and foreign policy for a doctorate at Durham University's School of Government and International Affairs, and served as a non-resident tutor at St John's College.

Campaign North

In 2006, Bates was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party with specific responsibility for the North of England. Bates served as a deputy to William Hague in his role as Chairman of the Northern Board of the Conservative Party and Head of Campaign North.

House of Lords

Bates was awarded a life peerage on 30 June 2008; and was gazetted as Baron Bates, of Langbaurgh in the County of North Yorkshire.[10] Also beginning in 2008, he served as director of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation and a director of Bede Academy, Blyth; Trinity Academy, Thorne and The King's Academy, Middlesbrough, holding these posts until 2010.

In December 2008, he was appointed an Opposition Whip in the House of Lords, and Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Energy & Climate Change. In March 2009, he became Shadow Minister for Communities & Local Government, and in January 2010 Shadow Minister for Children, Schools & Families.

In 2013, Lord Bates was appointed a Deputy Chairman and Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords.

In October 2013, he became a Government Whip (a Lord in Waiting in the Royal Household) and a Government Spokesman in the House of Lords, for the Departments of Work & Pensions; International Development; Culture Media and Sport (Broadcasting); and Business Innovation and Skills (Universities & Science).

On 6 August 2014, following the resignation of Baroness Warsi, Lord Bates succeeded Lord Taylor of Holbeach.[1] as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Criminal Information at the Home Office. He was promoted to Minister of State at the Home Office in May 2015[1] and sworn of the Privy Council.[11]

On 23 March 2016, Lord Bates resigned from the Home Office[12] in order to walk 2000 miles from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro to promote the Olympic truce and raised over £260,000 for UNICEF.[13][14]

In October 2016, he was appointed Minister of State at the Department for International Development.[15] On 31 January 2018, he offered his resignation after arriving a minute too late for a question from Baroness Lister of Burtersett in the House of Lords, which had sat early that day.[14] Lord Bates said that he was "thoroughly ashamed at not being in [his] place",[16] but his resignation surprised the House.[17] Baroness Smith of Basildon, Labour leader in the Lords, said that an apology was all that was needed,[14] and Prime Minister Theresa May refused Lord Bates' resignation.[18]

Lord Bates successfully resigned his office of Minister of State in April 2019.[6][7]

Charity work

In 2009, Bates was appointed Patron of Tomorrow's People (North East) a charity specialising in getting 'hard to reach' young people into work or training. Bates undertook two sponsored walks called 'Walk for Tomorrow' for them in 2009 and 2010, raising over £25,000. In 2011, he was nominated for a Dods Charity Champion Award by Tomorrow's People and shortlisted.[19]

On 27 July 2013, on the first anniversary of the London Olympic Games, Lord Bates embarked upon a 518.8 mile walk from London to Derry, Northern Ireland to raise funds for Save the Children's work in Syria. The walk which took 35 days to complete raised over £50,000 for the charity's campaign.[20] In 2013 Lord Bates was shortlisted for 'International Campaigner of the Year' in the Dods Parliamentary Awards

On 4 August 2014, Lord Bates embarked on a 1054 mile/two month walk[21] from London to Berlin raising £41,000 for the German charity Friedensdorf International (Peace Village International)[22] who provide emergency medical for child victims of conflict.[23]

On 27 July 2015, the third anniversary of the London Olympics, Lord Bates embarked upon a 71-day, 1059 mile walk from Beijing to Hangzhou. The walk raised £90,000 for projects identified by the Red Cross Society in China.[24][unreliable source?]

Olympic truce

Lord Bates walking into Trafalgar Square, London, after taking nearly six and a half million steps in a 3000-mile walk across Europe to raise awareness of the UN resolution on the Olympic Truce (2012).[25]

Bates campaigned for the Olympic Truce for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games to be taken seriously by the signatories to the Olympic Truce Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly.[26] In April 2011, he set out on a 'Walk for Truce' from Olympia in Greece to Westminster, London to raise awareness of the truce and to secure support for its observance at the London 2012 Games.[3] In 2012, Lord Bates received the Open Fields Award from the Olympic Truce Foundation USA for his work in raising awareness for the truce. [27]

On 6 April 2016, the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace[28] Lord Bates embarked upon a 2000-mile, 140-day, solo-walk from Buenos Aires (Host city for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games) [29] to Rio de Janeiro, host city for the 2016 Olympic & Paralympic Games .[30][3] The purpose of the walk, as in 2012, was to raise awareness for the UN Resolution declaring the 2016 Olympic Truce[31] and to raise funds for UNICEF work with Children in Danger around the world.[32]

Personal life

Bates married Carole (née Whitfield) in 1983; the couple had two sons, Matthew (born 1987) and Alex (born 1990), but divorced in 2008.

Bates married Xuelin (née Li) in 2012.[33] He currently lives in London and the North East of England.



  1. ^ a b c "Lord Bates". Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  2. ^ "Lord Bates resigns as Minister of State for Home Office". GOV.UK.
  3. ^ a b c "Walk for Truce website". Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Gateshead born Lord Bates resigns". ITV News.
  5. ^ Hassan, Jennifer (1 February 2018). "British lord who resigned for being late still has a job". The Washington Post. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b Bates, Michael Walton (25 February 2020). "Brexit's court room battle has become toxic - I'm quitting as a minister to search for common ground". Politics Home. Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  7. ^ a b Sandhu, Serina (23 May 2019). "The full list of 50 ministers to resign under Theresa May". Retrieved 18 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Tory MP wins praise for stand on pay raise". The Independent. 5 November 1993. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Sorry..." 5 May 2013. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  10. ^ "The London Gazette". Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Privy Counsellors". Archived from the original on 21 December 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  12. ^ "Lord Bates resigns as Minister of State for Home Office".
  13. ^ "Stepping down and stepping out… - Lords of the Blog". 23 March 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  14. ^ a b c "Minister Lord Bates shocks peers by quitting for being late". BBC News. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  15. ^ "New ministerial appointment: Lord Bates". 10 Downing Street. 14 October 2016.
  16. ^ Walker, Peter (31 January 2018). "Lord Bates makes dramatic resignation in House of Lords". The Guardian.
  17. ^ Horton, Helena (31 January 2018). "Government Minister Lord Bates dramatically resigns because he was late for work". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Lord Bates's resignation over lateness rejected by PM". BBC News. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Shortlist 2011 Society Champion: Lord Bates". Dod's Charity Champion Awards. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  20. ^ "Michael's Walk for Syria's Children". Archived from the original on 27 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Walk For Peace". Archived from the original on 2 May 2022. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  22. ^ "FRIEDENSDORF INTERNATIONAL – Peacevillage International".
  23. ^ "Lord Bates completes his 1,000 mile".
  24. ^ "British politician walks for peace in China". FINDCHINA.
  25. ^ "Lord Bates completes 3000 mile walk in support of Olympic Truce". GOV.UK.
  26. ^ "House of Lords debates, 31 March 2011, 11:06 am". Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  27. ^ "Truce Foundation of The USA". Archived from the original on 31 March 2016.
  28. ^ "Sports for Development and Peace". Archived from the original on 26 April 2016.
  29. ^ "Olympic Buenos Aires 2018". 12 September 2019.
  30. ^ "Rio 2016 Olympic". 17 April 2018. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015.
  31. ^ "UN General Assembly approves Olympic Truce for Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016". 21 July 2016.
  32. ^ "Unicef".
  33. ^ "Love blossoms for former Teesside MP Michael Bates". Sunday Sun. 15 July 2012. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  34. ^ Tilbrook, Richard (14 May 2015). "ORDERS APPROVED AND BUSINESS TRANSACTED AT THE PRIVY COUNCIL HELD BY THE QUEEN AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE ON 14TH MAY 2015" (PDF). The Privy Council Office. Retrieved 22 October 2023.
Parliament of the United Kingdom Preceded byAshok Kumar Member of Parliament for Langbaurgh 19921997 Constituency abolished Political offices Preceded byDavid Willetts Paymaster General 1996 – 1997 Succeeded byGeoffrey Robinson Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom Preceded byThe Lord Smith of Kelvin GentlemenBaron Bates Followed byThe Lord Mandelson