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: 7 December 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 Sudan and South Sudan
William Bain, Labour MP for Glasgow North East, moved a debate on Government policy on Sudan and South Sudan which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Henry Bellingham.
11.00-11.30am Centenaries affecting the UK and Ireland
Naomi Long, Alliance MP for Belfast East, moved a debate on Government preparations for centenaries affecting the UK and Ireland which received an answer from the Minister of State for Northern Ireland, Hugo Swire.
2.30-4.00pm Pension plan charges
Brandon Lewis, Conservative MP for Great Yarmouth, moved a debate on transparency of charges on pension plans which received an answer from the Minister of State for Work and Pensions, Steve Webb.
Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, moved a debate on Government policy on Tibet which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Henry Bellingham.
Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MP for Islington North, moved a debate on the cost of Trident nuclear missile and submarine replacement which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secreatry of State for Defence, Peter Luff.
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.