Michael Bates, Baron Bates
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. In March 2016, he resigned as Minister of State in order to undertake a 2000-mile solo walk from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro to raise awareness for the Olympic truce.
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 but it was not accepted by the Prime Minister. In April 2019, Bates submitted his second resignation from the position and vacated his role as Minister of State.
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.
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.
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 and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury and was appointed Paymaster General in the Cabinet Office and a Sponsor Minister for the north east of England in 1996. He held the latter posts 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. Between 2006 and 2008, Bates commenced a doctoral research degree (researching ethics and foreign policy) at the School of Government and International Affairs, University of Durham and served as a non-resident tutor at St John's College, University of Durham.
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; his title was gazetted as Baron Bates, of Langbaurgh in the County of North Yorkshire. Also beginning in 2008, he served as director of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation and a director of Bede Academy, Blyth; Trinity Academy, Doncaster and King's Academy, Middlesbrough, holding these posts until 2010.
In December 2008, Bates was appointed to the House of Lords Opposition Front bench as Shadow Minister for Cabinet Office and Energy & Climate Change and he became a member of the Opposition Whips' Office. In March 2009, he became Shadow Minister for Communities & Local Government and in January, 2010 he became 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 was appointed a Government Whip/Lord in Waiting (Member of the Royal Household) and a Spokesman in the House of Lords for the government on Department of Work & Pensions; Department of International Development; Department of Culture Media and Sport (Broadcasting) and Department of Business Innovation and Skills (Universities & Science)
On 6 August 2014, Bates was named as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Criminal Information at the Home Office in a mini-reshuffle following the resignation of Baroness Warsi, succeeding Lord Taylor of Holbeach.
On 23 March 2016, Lord Bates resigned as a Minister of State at the Home Office in order to undertake a 2000-mile solo-walk from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro to promote the Olympic truce and raise funds for UNICEF. The walk raised over £260,000.
In October 2016, Lord Bates was appointed as Minister of State at the Department for International Development. On 31 January 2018, he offered his resignation from the government, after arriving a minute late for a session of the House of Lords which meant he missed a question from Baroness Lister. The proceedings in the Lords had started earlier that day to make more time for the chamber to debate the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. Bates said that he was "thoroughly ashamed at not being in [his] place". This resignation caused surprise and confusion in the chamber. Baroness Smith, Labour leader in the Lords, said that an apology was all that was needed. Prime Minister Theresa May refused to accept the resignation.
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.
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. 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 from London to Berlin raising £41,000 for the German charity Friedensdorf International (Peace Village International) who provide emergency medical for child victims of conflict.
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.
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. 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. In 2012, Lord Bates received the Open Fields Award from the Olympic Truce Foundation USA for his work in raising awareness for the truce. 
On 6 April 2016, the UN International Day of Sport for Development and Peace Lord Bates will embark upon a 2000-mile, 140-day, solo-walk from Buenos Aires (Host city for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games)  to Rio de Janeiro, host city for the 2016 Olympic & Paralympic Games . . The purpose of the walk, as in 2012, was to raise awareness for the UN Resolution declaring the 2016 Olympic truce. and to raise funds for UNICEF work with Children in Danger around the world.
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. He currently lives in London and the North East of England.
Styles of address
- 1961–1992: Mr Michael Bates
- 1992–1997: Mr Michael Bates MP
- 1997–2008: Mr Michael Bates
- 2008–2015: The Rt Hon. The Lord Bates
- 2015–: The Rt Hon. The Lord Bates PC
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|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Langbaurgh
1992 – 1997
1996 – 1997