Alistair Burt says his tenure as a Foreign Office minister has been a career high – but he will always be a constituency MP first and foremost.
North-East Beds MP Mr Burt lost his job as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office following Prime Minister David Cameron’s cabinet reshuffle on Monday.
But Mr Burt says he was honoured to have spent three-and-a-half years in the role and that he will always be thankful for the support he has received from his constituents during that time.
He said: “It has been very enjoyable but slightly surreal at the same time.
“One day I would be attending a meeting with the US Secretary of State and the French and German foreign ministers, who I would be on first name terms with.
“Then the next morning I would be in a village hall talking to a constituent about an issue that could be anything from something benefit-related to flooding.”
Even during his busiest periods at the Foreign Office Mr Burt has rarely if ever missed an event in the constituency diary. He says his constituents have always been his main priority.
He added: “Where possible I always scheduled my Foreign Office trips and engagements during the week so I would be free at weekends to attend events locally.
“But to be honest I would be enjoying those sort of days out in the area with my wife anyway – I just happened to be working quite often as well.”
There have been many highlights during Mr Burt’s time in the Foreign Office.
He said: “I have attended meetings and other events when the Foreign Secretary has been unavailable, I’ve met a variety of world leaders and I also signed the Arms Trade Treaty for the UK.”
Mr Burt has been touched by the many messages of support he has received from constituents and also in Parliament.
He added: “I have had many kind comments and a great deal of support, from the Foreign Secretary, the Shadow Foreign Secretary and all throughout Parliament.
“We have also had so many emails and messages on Facebook and Twitter – we may not be able to reply to everyone individually but I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone.”
Mr Burt has not been allocated another role so far.