Labour’s candidate to face Hereford’s Conservative MP Jesse Norman has poured scorn on his rival’s plans to publish a historical novel.

“It does make us wonder if Jesse has the time to return to Hereford or have the tenacity to focus on his day job,” the party’s nominee for the Hereford and South Herefordshire constituency Joe Emmett said.

“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,” he added.

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

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.

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


Mr Norman told trade website BookBrunch: “The seventeenth 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.”

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 newly appointed prime minister Rishi Sunak last month.

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