On Thursday 13 March, MPs took part in a general debate relating to Commonwealth Day in Westminster Hall. This debate was scheduled by the Backbench Business Committee following representations from Sir Alan Haselhurst.
Watch the debate and read the transcript
This debate was opened by Sir Alan Haselhurst at 1.30pm in Westminter Hall.
How the subject was selected
The subject for this debate was determined by the Backbench Business Committee following representation from Sir Alan Haselhurst at the public meeting on Tuesday 4 March 2014.
Backbench Business Committee
The Backbench Business Committee meets weekly on Tuesdays at 3pm to consider requests for debates from any backbench Members of Parliament on any subject, including those raised in e-petitions or national campaigns.
An MP must make a representation before the Committee for an e-petition or petition to be debated; e-petitions exceeding the Government's 100,000 signature threshold are not automatically allocated backbench time.
The Committee then has to decide how to allocate the limited Parliamentary time it has at its disposal. The Committee's meetings are always conducted in public and can be watched on Parliament TV.