A member of the Conservative Party he was elected to the House of Commons in 1955. During the Suez Crisis Yates emerged as one of the government's staunchest critics. On 1st November, 1956, Yates, interrupted on a point of order and said, "I have come to the conclusion that Her Majesty's Government has been involved in an international conspiracy". Later that day representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union at the United Nations joined forces and demanded a cease-fire.
A senior partner in World Wide Industrial Consultants Yates moved to Australia where he was elected as a Liberal Member of the House of Representatives.