The Government has been accused of "bringing forward" the collapse of carmaker MG Rover because the crisis broke out so close to the general election.

Conservative industry spokesman Charles Hendry said the Government's hands were "not clean" as he demanded that the role of ministers should be fully examined by an investigation currently looking into the demise of the Birmingham-based company.

He told an adjournment debate at Westminster that a "catalogue of mistakes" had been made over MG Rover going back many years, which had led to the tragic loss of jobs for thousands of workers and dealers and uncertainty over pensions.

***

A political researcher for Birmingham Liberal Democrats who has been suspended from work almost eight months says he is being denied a full hearing into misconduct allegations levelled against him.

Steve Kirkham was sent home on full pay at the beginning of November last year after falling out with his bosses at Birmingham City Council.

Mr Kirkham, who is facing gross misconduct charges, wants the opportunity to prove his innocence.

He had been hauled before "kangaroo courts", he claimed.

The council continues to pay Mr Kirkham, including a wage rise in January, and has recently renewed the free bus pass he is entitled to under the terms of his contract of employment.

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A pensioner died after being trampled by a cow in Warwickshire.

Lorraine Richards was critically injured as she walked through a field near the Carylon Industrial Estate, Atherstone, on Saturday.

The 66-year-old, from Bretts Hall Estate, in Ansley Common, Nuneaton, was taken to the nearby George Eliot Hospital but died shortly afterwards.

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A top hairdresser who counts the Duchess of Cornwall and Hollywood A-list celebrities among his clients was captured on video in a violent struggle with seven police officers, a court heard.

A jury at Hereford Crown Court was shown CCTV footage of Daniel Galvin Jnr wrestling with officers as they tried to put him in a cell following his arrest on suspicion of assaulting a neighbour.

The 35-year-old defendant, who had been drinking, was pinned to the floor before being restrained by the legs and lifted into a cell.

Galvin, who launched a hair care product range with the Prince of Wales last year, was taken to a police station accused of repeatedly punching and kicking his neighbour, 61-year-old James Hicken, who he had found trying to help an injured bird in his garden last year.

***

It was once the cosy cornerstone of a Birmingham suburb.

But today the traditional pub is more than likely to be boarded up or demolished.

At least 100 have disappeared from the city's periphery in the last decade and local historians predict dozens more will be swept up by the claws of mechanical diggers in the next few years.

Only in the last six months two favourites have closed, The Richmond in Stechford and The Traveller's Rest in Northfield, both of which had architectural features dating back more than 70 years.

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More on these stories in Wednesday's Birmingham Post