Let's deal with the facts. All Birmingham MPs were invited to this meeting regardless of party affiliation - including John Hemming and Andrew Mitchell - by an email sent to their parliamentary addresses. Quite reasonably, the delegation wanted to agree the approach for the meeting, given that they only had 30 minutes with the PM right after PMQs last week, so two pre-meeting briefings were planned. One of these was in Birmingham and a second was in an office in Portcullis House (the parliamentary office block across the road from the Palace of Westminster) about 90 minutes prior to the meeting with Cameron, with MPs asked to attend one or the other.
There was ample opportunity for John Hemming to attend. He was not banned. As Jon Walker points out in his article, as the meeting was held in the Commons, not No 10, there was nothing to prevent John - as an MP with a pass - simply turning up, which Khalid Mahmood did.
The ever-imaginative Martin Mullaney points out that Birmingham "ratepayers" covered the cost - which they did. I wonder if a business meeting with the PM, compares well with more than £4000 spent by the City Council, of which he was a Cabinet member, on the drinks reception on the Commons terrace earlier this year?
According to Jon Walker, Cameron seemed impressed enough
"I thought what was very promising was that you saw all the parties working together, you saw the council and the MPs working together, you saw the private sector involved."That's probably an outcome that we can all support.
I've been given a little bit of extra information in terms of the timeline. The original plan was that the meeting would only include members of the business community and all three parties on Birmingham Council (that wished to participate). MPs were not originally included. It is at this point, during the last week of August, when the email exchange to which Martin refers took place. Subsequently, a decision was taken to open the meeting to all of Birmingham's MPs, at which point the invitation was sent out at the end of August.