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: 21 February 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 Rural bank closures
Roger Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, moved a debate on high street bank branch closures in rural areas which received an answer from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chloe Smith.
11.00-12.30pm Gangmasters Licensing Authority
Ian Murray, Labour MP for Edinburgh South, moved a debate on future of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Richard Benyon.
12.30-1.00pm Child benefit
Christopher Chope, Conservative MP for Christchurch, moved a debate on Government policy on higher rate taxpayers and child benefit which received an answer from the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke.
1.00-1.30pm London Olympics
Barry Gardiner, Labour MP for Brent North, moved a debate on the sustainability of the London Olympics which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, John Penrose.
1.30-2.00pm Flood defences
Nicola Blackwood, Conservative MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, moved a debate on flood defence funding which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Richard Benyon.
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.