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Political preview blog: MPs return to the fray

Debate over a better Brexit deal for the UK will continue to dominate as MPs return to Westminster tomorrow Credit: PA

By Alison Mackenzie, Political Correspondent

The sun is still shining but the holidays are over. This week Midlands MPs return to Westminster knowing it could be crunch time for both main parties. Mrs May has the challenge of forthcoming EU negotiations but already the deep divisions within her own party are being exposed. The Grantham MP Nick Boles has dismissed her Chequers plan as 'unworkable' and is now touring the media studios suggesting his own alternative - which involves adopting the so-called 'Norway' model. His justification - he told me today - is the opposition to Chequers raised recently by members of his local party association.

Meanwhile firm Brexiteer Conservatives such as the Stone MP Bill Cash and the member for North West Leicestershire Andrew Bridgen, are firmly of the view that a speedy harder Brexit is the sensible way to deliver on what Midlands' voters called for. There was a big majority to leave the EU.

Work continues on Big Ben - as well as a Brexit deal Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

Labour MPs may revel in these Tory woes but they have troubles of their own to deal with. Ruth Smeeth, the MP for Stoke North, who is Jewish, has been one of those calling on Leader Jeremy Corbyn to draw a line under the anti-Semitism row. There is concern too about the growing threat of de-selection with claims that there is bullying of Labour MPs who are not sympathetic to the views of their party leader.

And of course talk to any MP from our region and they will tell you their priority as they return is the day-to-day concerns of their own constituents - jobs, housing and access to services.

The MPs are at Westminster for just two weeks before they depart for the annual round of Party Conferences. It's Brighton for would-be Liberal Democrat MPs - Liverpool for Labour and then all roads lead to Birmingham for the Conservatives.

Will Theresa May survive the attacks from on all sides ? Will Jeremy Corbyn fight off the challenge from disgruntled centrists ?

Politics is never dull - and dare we raise the prospect of another General Election ?