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: 25 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 Anglo-Vietnamese relations
George Howarth, Labour MP for Knowsley, moved a debate on Anglo-Vietnamese relations which received an answer from the the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt.
11.00-11.30am Sexting and sexual grooming
Ann Coffey, Labour MP for Stockport, moved a debate on sexting and the risk of sexual grooming which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Tim Loughton.
2.30-4.00pm Mayoral referendums
Martin Vickers, Conservative MP for Cleethorpes, moved a debate on mayoral referendums which received an answer from the Minister of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark.
4.00-4.30pm Future of local newspapers
Louise Mensch, Conservative MP for Corby, moved a debate on the future of local newspapers which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Edward Vaizey.
4.30-5.00pm Outsourcing by Government departments
Grahame M. Morris, Labour MP for Easington, moved a debate on outsourcing to the private sector by Government departments which received an answer from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office, Nick Hurd.
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.