North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham is committed to his role despite being disappointed to miss out on a new job in the Commons, he has said.
Mr Bellingham came third in the race to become the House’s new deputy speaker, a role which would have seen him chairing debates and helping with the running of parliament.
Mr Bellingham said: “I came a very strong third and in fact was very pleased I did as well as I did.
“Coming out of Government only a year ago is going to make you an outsider because in this particular role most MPs are looking for someone who has been away from Government for more than that.
“However, I started off at 30/1 and ended 5/2 against.”
Mr Bellingham lost his post as a junior foreign office minister last year in a Government reshuffle and ended a ten-year stint on the front benches.
He admitted he was keen for a new challenge when the job of deputy speaker became vacant with the resignation of Nigel Evans who is facing sex offence charges.
If he had got the job he would no longer have been able to speak in debates in the House of Commons or vote.
At the time of putting himself forward, he said it would also mean he had unparalleled access to ministers
Mr Bellingham said: “I would have been very honoured to have got the job and it would have been a fascinating role. The downside is that I would have been able to speak in the house.
“I was looking for a new challenge but there are always challenges in the constituency. I would have carried on fighting those campaigns but in a slightly different way.
“Now I will continue to fight those campaigns perhaps even more vocally than before.
“My role now is to represent the constituency to the best of my ability and get reelected. The constituency was always the most important thing. It’s immensely rewarding being involved with people. I’m as enthusiastic about that as I was 31 years ago.”
Mr Bellingham lost out on the deputy speaker role to Eleanor Laing, MP for Epping Forest.
He said: “I think Eleanor Laing will be outstanding.”
The post was decided through a vote amongst all MPs .
Mr Bellingham was the first choice for the job for 87 of his parliamentary colleagues.
Brian Binley, MP for Northampton South, came second in the final round of votes.
There was speculation in advance of the vote, which was held on Wednesday, that Mr Bellingham was popular with the Labour party because he was perceived to be a weaker candidate against Lindsay Hoyle in a future speakership contest.
Mr Bellingham, a Cambridge graduate, who served as a barrister for eight years, was first elected as MP for North West Norfolk in 1983.
He lost his seat to Labour in 1997 and regained it in the June 2001 election.
From 2002 to 2005, Mr Bellingham served as Shadow Minister for Small Businesses, Enterprise and Construction. From 2005 to 2006, he served in the Whips Office.
From 2006 to 2010, he was Shadow Minister for Legal Services, the Court Service, the Judiciary and Family Law.