The Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, Philip Bradbourn, has died at the age of 63 after a short battle with bowel cancer.
Mr Bradbourn, who served in the European Parliament since 1999, was diagnosed shortly after being re-elected in May.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, says:
Philip’s dedication to public service was truly admirable; he was a well-respected and effective MEP."
Tory MEP Philip Bradbourn has died aged 63, the Conservative Party has announced. The West Midlands MEP, who had served in the European Parliament since 1999, was diagnosed with bowel cancer shortly after being re-elected in May and died last night.
His no-nonsense approach to politics made him a powerful voice for the West Midlands as well as a resolute defender of the British taxpayers' interests in Brussels and Strasbourg.
Ashley Fox, leader of the Conservative MEPs, said Mr Bradbourn was a "one-off" adding that he was "a much loved character who could always be relied on for a robust intervention and a succinct summary of a political point".
It's five months today since a protest camp was set up in the grounds of Stafford Hospital. The protesters are still there - despite the arrival of winter weather.
Campaigners say plans to move some services out of Stafford to other hospitals will put patients lives at risk. They say hospitals are already struggling to cope, and planned changes will make things even worse. Keith Wilkinson reports.
The Government has announced a further cut to local authority budgets next year. They describe the 1 point 8 per cent reduction overall as a fair settlement in tough times.
But some councils in the East Midlands are furious saying they're already on the brink and that the cuts will hit the most vulnerable.
The Local Government Association claims that once inflation is taken into account the loss in funding is more than 8 per cent for each council. So who's right?
Our Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie sent this report from Westminster.
Unemployment rises in the East Midlands and falls in the West MidlandsRead the full story ›
One business in the Black Country says the help being offered by the Chancellor in the Autumn statement is all well and good, but in previous schemes they haven't seen the money come through.
Alpha Engineering in Willenhall is as old as the Coalition Government; it was formed in 2010 and now employs nine people.
Bosses say business is brisk, but the firm can't grow fast enough because it's hard to access finance to buy new machinery, or to find the right staff with the appropriate skills.
Managing Director Anthony Chisholm had high hopes for today's announcement from Westminster. Chris Halpin was there to gauge his reaction when George Osborne made his pledges for small businesses.
Former Cabinet minister and Sutton Coldfield MP Andrew Mitchell must accept the verdict of the High Court on the "Plebgate" libel action and move on, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister insisted it was "never right to be abusive or rude" to a police officer and said the judge had "made very clear his verdict".
Mr Justice Mitting decided that the former chief whip did call Pc Toby Rowland a "pleb" because the officer did not have the "wit, imagination or inclination" to invent it.
Asked about the outcome of the case after he made a keynote speech in Staffordshire on immigration, Mr Cameron said: "On the issue of Andrew Mitchell, I mean, let me be clear - it is never right to be abusive or rude to a police officer. I think that is extremely important.
"But, look, we've had a court case now. That's how we do things in this country.
"The judge has made very clear his verdict and I think everyone should accept that verdict and move on."
Mr Justice Mitting said he had reached the "firm conclusion" that the 58-year-old MP used the "politically-toxic" word "pleb" in Downing Street in September 2012 when he was not allowed to cycle through the main vehicle gates.
Mr Mitchell, who resigned as whip a month after the altercation, vehemently denied this during his two-week libel action against News Group Newspapers.
Commuters have been giving their views to ITV News Central after a consortium involving Sir Richard Branson's train company Virgin Trains was chosen to run the East Coast main line franchise from next year.
The police officer at the centre of the Plebgate row has said the "pain" of going through the courts "has been indescribable" after a judge found in his favour over Andrew Mitchell.
Speaking outside the High Court, PC Toby Rowland said he had "huge regret" that "what happened at the gates of Downing Street more than two years ago ended up here".
He said he and his team had tried "everything possible" to avoid court action.
"I am delighted that here again my innocence, integrity and reputation as a police officer has been recognised," he added.
PC Rowland also called for a "line to be drawn" over the incident.
The Police Federation of England and Wales has said it is "pleased" Mr Justice Mitting has ruled in PC Toby Rowland's favour after Andrew Mitchell lost his High Court libel action over the "Plebgate incident".
Toby's name has been cleared and his integrity restored. Toby has conducted himself with dignity and professionalism in relation to this incident and subsequent inquiries and legal cases.
It is important that this incident is now brought to a close to allow Toby and his family to look to the future.
PC Rowland sued Andrew Mitchell for libel over statements accusing him of fabricating the alleged verbal abuse at Downing Street in 2012.
Former government chief whip Mitchell lost his libel action against News Group Newspapers over The Sun's reporting of the "Plebgate" incident.