NEWS that Conservative MP Jesse Norman is to pen a historical novel has been lambasted by Labour’s general election candidate for the seat.

The announcement follows widespread criticism of fellow Tory Matt Hancock taking time off to appear in the jungle in I’m A Celebrity, where he is reportedly being paid £400,000.

The Transport Minister’s new book deal follows his wife Dame Kate Bingham’s success with her ‘vaccine Czar’ account of the pandemic, The Long Shot.

But Labour nominee for the Hereford and South Herefordshire constituency Joe Emmett says: “It does make us wonder if Jesse has the time to return to Hereford or have the tenacity to focus on his day job.

“Whilst we may praise Jesse for being another serving MP who has the time to write a novel after his Etonian school friend Boris, at least this ‘second job and income’ doesn’t see him in a jungle like Mr Hancock.”

Norman tweeted that he was “very excited” that his début novel, The Winding Stair, will be published next year.

The blurb says it is “a gripping tale of ambition and revenge set in the courts of Elizabethan and Jacobean England”, according to its publisher Biteback, which mostly produces works on politics and current affairs.

Publisher James Stephens added that it “offers dark echoes of our current political climate”.

Mr Norman told trade website BookBrunch: “The 17th Century is history, life and politics with the gloves off.

“The people are bigger, the stakes are higher, the plotting more devious and cut-throat. So it is with this book.”

But Mr Emmett said. “After 12 years of Tory chaos, Jesse has lots of experience in the art of intrigue and treachery.

“Let’s hope the good people of Hereford and South Herefordshire will seek their own revenge whenever the Tory Party are brave enough to call a general election.”

All Mr Norman’s proceeds from the book are going to support Hereford’s new NMITE technical university, which the MP has championed.

He has already had two works of nonfiction published, on political thinkers Edmund Burke and Adam Smith, as well as several policy pamphlets.

Having previously held ministerial posts in the Treasury and Foreign Office, he was made transport minister by new PM Rishi Sunak last month.

Meanwhile, following Hereford United’s starring role on Match of the Day in a battling 3-1 FA Cup defeat to former cup winners Portsmouth, the MP has called for the historic Edgar Street stadium to be “rebuilt and renewed, for the benefit of the community”.

The TV show paid tribute to legendary Bulls scorer Ronnie Radford, who died in early November and whose legendary goal lit up the screens 50 years ago, when Hereford caused one of the biggest cup shocks ever, beating Newcastle United 2-1