Plans for Commons hearings dedicated to the West Midlands are still on the drawing board despite being excluded from a major package of constitutional reform, the Government has insisted.
Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, proposed a series of changes to the way we are governed last July, including the creation of a Commons committee for the West Midlands to hold agencies spending hundreds of millions of pounds to account.
But when Ministers published the results of the consultation this week, the regional proposals had been removed. Officials said they were still under consideration.
Instead, Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, said the Government would introduce a range of reforms, including restoring the right to protest outside Parliament.
This is a major victory for Brian Haw, the Redditch carpenter who has staged a one-man protest on a roundabout opposite the House of Commons for seven years.
Laws banning protests within a half-mile "exclusion zone" of the Commons without police permission were introduced in August 2005, in what was widely seen as a clumsy attempt to evict Mr Haw.
But they proved highly controversial, and Mr Haw is still there. Mr Straw announced that parts of the 2005 Act will be repealed.
The failure to introduce regional sessions in Parliament means that West Midlands MPs still have no way of holding the Minister for the West Midlands, Birmingham MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill), to account.
Last year the Government published the Governance of Britain Green Paper, which proposed the creation of regional select committees in which MPs would be able to quiz both the regional Minister and civil servants.
It also proposed the creation of question sessions in the main Commons chamber
focusing on specific regions. The green paper contained a series of other measures, including giving Parliament the right to vote on the deployment of British troops and stripping the Prime Minister of the power to appoint judges.
These measures were included in Mr Straw's announcement, but the regional proposals were not even mentioned.
A Commons committee chaired by Cabinet Minister Harriet Harman, Labour's Deputy Leader, is still debating them after civil servants claimed powerful regional committees would make their jobs harder.
A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "The Government remains committed to exploring ways of developing regional accountability, particularly for only partially accountable bodies such as Regional Development Agencies, through Commons committees."
He added: "The Government has not published its proposals yet, but it is important to ensure that the proposals are right."
But Birmingham MP Andrew Mitchell (Con Sutton Coldfield), the Conservative Shadow Minister for Birmingham, said: "Gordon Brown made a series of promises about giving the West Midlands better representation in the Commons.
"It is now eight months later, and he is still dithering. We have a regional minister but he is accountable to no-one."
The Government's proposals also came under fire from Black Country MP John Spellar (Lab Warley), who criticised plans to stop politicians appointing judges.
He said it was important that politicians were able to influence the culture of the judiciary because this was the only way that public opinion could have any effect on judges.
Mr Spellar said: "This proposal to let the judges select their colleagues will insulate them even more from the realities of life and from public opinion. It's a bad day for democracy."
Judges will now be appointed by an independent Judicial Appointments Commission.