31/12/2013 07:38 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 16:01 GMT

Former Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt Reveals Anger Over Syria Vote At Westminster

FAYEZ NURELDINE via Getty Images
British Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt gestures during a press conference held at the British embassy to Algiera, on November 12, 2010 in Algiers. Burt held discussion with Algerian officials related in the fight against terrorism, and to examine the various aspects of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, mainly in the fields of energy, non-hydrocarbon sectors, culture, education and technical assistance. AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain has landed itself in a "constitutional mess" in the wake of the summer vote against military action in Syria, in which the Commons can be guaranteed to back intervention only to defend the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar, according to a former Foreign Office minister.

In his first interview on the Syrian crisis since losing his ministerial post in the autumn reshuffle, Alistair Burt said the failure of MPs in August to back the principle of military action against the Assad regime for the use of chemical weapons had left the mainstream opposition forces "absolutely devastated".