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: 17 April 2012
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 The Budget and the North East
Ian Mearns, Labour MP for Gateshead, moved a debate on the effect of the Budget on the economy of the North East which received an answer from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chloe Smith.
11.00-12.30pm Rural communities
Simon Hart, Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, moved a debate on Government support for rural communities which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon.
12.30-1.00pm Death in service inheritance tax
David Hanson, Labour MP for Delyn, moved a debate on death in service inheritance tax and the case of Nigel Lawrence Thomas, which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan.
1.00-1.30pm Railway stations
Stephen McPartland, Conservative MP for Stevenage, moved a debate on modernisation of railway stations in small towns and cities which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Regional and Local Transport, Norman Baker.
1.30-2.00pm Safety of looped blind cords
Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West, moved a debate on the safety of looped blind cords which received an answer from the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk.
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.