MPs have urged the BBC to make the Midlands its principal focus after ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland teamed up to negotiate the new charter.

With the corporation’s royal charter up for review, ministers working in all three devolved administrations have joined forces to ensure they are given a formal role in the key talks.

But it comes against a rising tide of pressure on the BBC to address investment in the Midlands , where it re-invested just 8.5 per cent of the £942 million raised by licence fee payers in this region last year. By comparison, Wales enjoyed an 84 per cent return, while Northern Ireland saw a 71 per cent return and Scotland 61 per cent.

Speaking after talks with her counterparts from Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland’s cabinet secretary for culture, Europe and external affairs Fiona Hyslop, said the BBC was “failing to meet the expectations” of viewers in Scotland.

The group has vowed to push the BBC to take a more representative approach to commissioning, talent development and production from and for all the nations and regions.

But Solihull’s Conservative MP Julian Knight, who was previously a BBC reporter, said the Midlands should be the prime focus for the broadcaster.

“Obviously they need to represent themselves,” he said. “But the reality is that we are the ones who have the real BBC funding crisis.

“It seems that the BBC’s focus when it comes to regionality is on the nations, rather than on the English regions.”

He added: “This is where the focus should be. It should be approached like the EU does with ‘objective one’ areas – where it says there is an area of economic deprivation. When it comes to the BBC, we are the area of economic deprivation.”

Labour Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe added: “We have got to get the Midlands region properly recognised in the same way. Unless we are going to have direct input into the negotiations, they are going to carve us out. It has happened before and it will happen again.”

The Birmingham Mail and its sister Birmingham Post newspaper have been campaigning together for a fairer BBC deal for the Midlands .

Negotiations over the Beeb’s next 10-year charter are currently taking place. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have mounted a joint campaign for their countries, pledging to:

* Hold the Government and the BBC to account for the continued delivery of the public service broadcasting principles on which the BBC was founded.

* Ensure each devolved administration is guaranteed a formal, consultative role in developing reviewing and agreeing the new BBC charter.

* Ensure the Government and BBC provide for a truly representative service to all the communities, regions and nations of the UK.

* Ensure the BBC’s clear obligation to provide services for all of its communities, is fully met in relation to both English and indigenous language broadcasting.

* Push the BBC to take a more representative approach to commissioning, talent development and production from and for all the nations and regions.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has said the review would look at whether the broadcaster should continue to be “all things to all people” or have a more “precisely targeted” mission. The BBC has already indicated it will be responding to the UK Government’s green paper on broadcasting in due course.