Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Cabinet reshuffle on 13 November not only saw controversial home secretary Suella Braverman sacked and for PM David Cameron made foreign secretary, but also resulted in the departure of transport minister with responsibility for decarbonisation Jesse Norman.

Norman was made a transport minister by the PM the day after Sunak took office at Number 10 last October. The appointment was a promotion for Norman, who had previously served in junior roles in the foreign office and the Treasury.

As transport minister, Norman played a key role in the development of the zero emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, which sets a target for car and van manufacturers to move away from petrol and diesel models. He also had responsibility for regulations for self-driving cars, drones and e-scotters, transport decarbonisation and air quality.

Norman said he had made his intention to return to the backbenches known “months ago” and was “looking forward to more freedom to campaign” in his constituency. He has been the MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire since 2010.

In his resignation letter, Norman said: “I am especially glad to have laid the the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate and to have completed the new legislation for self-driving vehicles.”

Referring to Cameron’s appointment, he added: “Completely surprising but not at all unprecedented for prime ministers to come back as foreign secretaries, but it hasn’t happened much recently. I wish him massive good luck obviously an enormously experienced international figure.”

Transport secretary Mark Harper remains in his position at DfT following the reshuffle. Norman’s replacement at DfT has yet to be announced.