Education Secretary Ruth Kelly has been accused of deliberately avoiding college lecturers protesting over pay after giving a speech in Birmingham.
Ms Kelly left the International Convention Centre via a side door as 300 members of lecturers' union Natfhe held a rally at the front.
More than 200 colleges across England, including 30 in the West Midlands, were disrupted as up to 26,000 further education lecturers staged a one-day strike.
They are demanding the Government close a ten per cent pay gap between college lecturers and schoolteachers.
Tony Blair has been urged to stick with Jaguar as supplier of his official cars by a Birmingham MP.
Sion Simon (Lab Erdington) met Bibiana Boerio, Jaguar's managing director, as the Department for Transport began a review of the Ministerial fleet.
Government Ministers have traditionally chosen Rover or Jaguar for their chauffeur-driven official car.
Jaguar's flagship flagship XJ saloon is now built at the Castle Bromwich site, in Mr Simon's constituency, following the closure of the facility in Brown's Lane, Coventry.
But earlier this year it emerged eight of Mr Blair's team had switched to the trendy Toyota Prius, and last month it was revealed the Prime Minister had ordered a bombproof BMW.
Midland MPs have enjoyed free trips abroad to far-flung destinations such as Tunisia, Georgia and Texas over the course of the last year.
Their journeys across the globe were revealed in the annual Register of Members' Interests, published by the House of Commons.
Businesses, universities and television news shows have paid their air fares and hotel bills.
MPs are obliged to declare all substantial benefits they receive, including free gifts and paid employment, to counter any claims that they are influenced by secret donations.
A train service between two of the biggest urban centres in the West Midlands has been given a stay of execution, rail bosses have announced.
But the Walsall to Wolverhampton route will be operated by buses after October 2007 if local transport officials cannot persuade the Government to make the reprieve permanent.
The poorly used service was to be axed following a review by the Strategic Rail Authority earlier this year ? one of the body's last acts before it was broken up in August.
Half of all parkland in the West Midlands has disappeared in the past 100 years and more is likely to be felled unless action is taken, the Government heritage watchdog has warned.
Land attached to stately homes previously used as parkland has been closed off, built on, or used as farm land since 1919, resulting in the region losing more parks than any other area of the country.
English Heritage said remaining parks, such as Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield, were facing huge pressures from both the natural environment and from urban problems, such as anti-social behaviour.
See Thursday's Birmingham Post for more on these stories