Tory MP Andrew Mitchell has admitted he still has hope of being a minister in the wake of his General Election result.
Sutton Coldfield MP Mr Mitchell went through a difficult period last year after a losing a libel battle over claims he called police officers “plebs”, which he has always denied.
The case is reported to have cost him £2 million in damages and legal fees, while the initial reports of the incident forced him to resign from the Government.
But his Sutton constituents re-elected him with a large majority of 16,417 votes.
Speaking of them in the wake of his court disaster, he said: “This is a jury that I respect and trust.”
Mr Mitchell said he was relaxed about his future – but did not rule out a return to government.
In an interview with the Post, he said: “Either I will be back in government, in one form or another, or I won’t.
“But whatever the future holds, my top priority will be representing the Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield – everyone who lives in it, regardless of their politics.”
He welcomed the chance to hold a referendum on quitting the European Union – a key pledge in the Conservative manifesto.
Mr Mitchell said he wanted Britain to remain a member of a “reformed” EU, but insisted the country could “stand on its own two feet” if it left.
Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden, said Conservative candidates had promised an EU referendum on the doorsteps during the election campaign, and the party would now have to deliver. Both welcomed the opportunity provided by the Tories’ success in winning a majority of seats to govern alone, without requiring a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
Mr Mitchell said: “I hope to see the Government successfully renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Europe, which has always been edgy and difficult since the first time we joined.
“Now is an opportunity to negotiate a smoother and better relationship, particularly as the EU is divided between the eurozone countries and the non-eurozone countries.”
He added: “I hope that the negotiations will allow us to stay in the EU, and I think that is what he other EU countries want.
“But were Britain to have to stand on its own two feet outside the EU, I have no doubt that we should be able to do that.”
Ms Spelman said the EU referendum was a “tangible” policy the Government would now be able to carry out which was impossible in coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
“One of the things we said on the doorstep is that if you want a referendum on Europe, the only party that can deliver that is the Conservative Party in government. And now that will happen.
“And actually it has put David Cameron in a strong position negotiating in Europe for the reforms that we want.
“The country has spoken on that. We will deliver on that. And other European leaders are recognising that with the strength of the economy in the UK, we have to got to be listed to.”
She said she believed Prime Minister David Cameron would succeed in winning a better deal for the UK from the EU, and she would then campaign for Britain to remain a member.
“I’m right behind the Prime Minister on this one. I want us to stay in Europe but I want Europe to be reformed .”
Sajid Javid, the Conservative MP for Bromsgrove in Worcestershire and new Business Secretary, said in one of his first interviews in the job that he could not predict how he would vote in a referendum.
Asked by the BBC whether he would back continued membership, he said: “No one can answer this question before we know the outcome of the renegotiation process. Once the process is over, everyone, and especially the British people, can make their decision.”