Westminster Hall debates
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are two one and a half hour debates and three half hour debates. The longer debates are intended for broader subjects where a number of MPs will want to speak. The shorter debates may focus on an issue that an MP may want to raise about their constituency.
Two ballots are held on the Wednesday of the previous week for each type of debate; MPs may enter into both ballots but can only be successful in one.
Each government department responds to the debates every other week according to a rota.
The Chair is taken by a member of the Panel of Chairs, with the same duties and powers conferred on Deputy Speakers.
Westminster Hall debates: 30 November 2011
Five debates were held in Westminster Hall. Watch and read the views expressed by MPs during the debates via the links to Parliament TV and Commons Hansard. Also, find more information about current parliamentary material in the Topics section on the Parliament website.
9.30-11.00am Organ donation
Glyn Davies, Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, moved a debate on presumptive approach to consent for organ donation which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Anne Milton.
11.00-11.30am Water bills in the South West
Dan Rogerson, Liberal Democrat MP for North Cornwall, moved a debate on water bills in the South West which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Richard Benyon.
2.30-4.00pm Poverty in Scotland
Sandra Osborne, Labour MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, moved a debate on poverty in Scotland which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell.
4.00-4.30pm Working Tax Credits
Jonathan Reynolds, Labour/Co-op MP for Stalybridge and Hyde, moved a debate on impact of changes to working tax credits which received an answer from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chloe Smith.
4.30-5.00pm Calculators in schools
Elizabeth Truss, Conservative MP for South West Norfolk, moved a debate on Government policy on the use of calculators in schools which received an answer from the Minister of State for Schools, Nick Gibb.
Westminster Hall debates
Westminster Hall adjournment debates allow MPs to discuss issues of local or personal interest which rarely have time to be debated in the main Chamber of the House of Commons. MPs can discuss a variety of issues and receive a response from a government Minister.