A Birmingham MP has failed in his court battle against Tony Blair over claims the Government refuses to answer questions.

John Hemming (Lib Dem Yardley) wanted the courts to order Ministers to answer questions from MPs.

He claimed they refused to give him information on issues from hospital deficits to council tax increases.

The MP represented himself in a High Court hearing, taking on a barrister representing Mr Blair. But the judge, Mr Justice Bennett, ruled the courts could not interfere in proceedings in Parliament.

He threw out Mr Hemming's application, and ordered him to pay costs of #1,754 plus VAT.

Speaking to the court, Mr Hemming said: "For me to do my job as a Parliamentarian, I need to know what is going on.

"I have a duty to keep myself informed. Without information, how can I do my job?"

He argued that a formal question was a Parliamentary proceeding in the same way as legislation, and therefore should be enforced by the courts.

Mr Bennett described Mr Hemming's application as "unusual".

The judge said Ministers were responsible to Parliament, but not to the courts.

"Ministers have a duty to Parliament and there is no legal duty, or if there is it is certainly not enforceable by application for judicial review, to respond to questions by Members of Parliament."

He added: "These are matters that arise within Parliament and the courts, by the Bill of Rights Act 1689, are not entitled to question matters which take place in Parliament."

The Bill of Rights, which followed the English Civil War and the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688, confirmed the system of constitutional monarchy, in which the sovereign ruled only with the consent of Parliament.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Hemming said: "I am disappointed because the judge has effectively said Ministers do not have to answer questions from MPs.

"In some cases I have had no response at all. In others they give you a lot of blather but it is not an answer to the question you asked.

"I may appeal against the decision."

The millionaire MP taught himself law in order to pursue the case and represent himself in the courtroom, with help from the many books on legal procedure kept in House of Commons libraries.