The Government is facing a political bombshell from Birmingham after a High Court judge promised to expose the postal voting system as being wide open to abuse on the day that Tony Blair is expected to announce the General Election.
As Mr Blair drives to Buckingham Palace on April 4 to ask the Queen for a dissolution of Parliament, Richard Mawrey QC will deliver his verdict in the Aston and Bordesley Green fraud trials.
Road managers have denied the West Midlands is set to face more roadworks misery to fix potholes after a 20-foot wide hole caused widespread disruption.
Motorists were delayed after the hole, caused by a combination of heavy lorries and rainwater getting underneath the road surface, appeared at 8.15 on Tuesday morning on the link road from the M6 junction 8 southbound to the M5.
The road was reduced to one lane for the remainder of the day, causing long tailbacks, and repair teams were due work overnight to reopen the road in time for the morning rush hour.
Birmingham City Council is to receive an extra #15.4 million from the Government as a reward for providing good services.
These include increasing school standards and boosting the GCSE pass rate in the city.
The authority has also worked with police to reduce domestic burglary rates.
Company secretary Christine Smith, who vowed to lose weight when her "sack of spuds" behind wedged fast in a park swing, was celebrating as she and husband Clayton were honoured after shedding almost 16 stone.
The couple, from Worcester, were named Mr & Mrs Slimming World 2005 at a ceremony in London, little over a year after they resolved to end their unhealthy habits.
Mr Smith, aged 34, director of a double glazing firm and once almost 25 stone, has lost 12st 2lbs in 12 months and wife Christine, aged 30, has dropped 3st 8lbs.