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 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 Intellectual property
Pete Wishart, Scottish National Party MP for Perth and North Perthshire, moved a debate on intellectual property and its contribution to economic growth which received an answer from the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk.
11.00-12.30pm Alcohol strategy
Dr Sarah Wollaston, Conservative MP for Totnes, moved a debate on Government's alcohol strategy which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Anne Milton.
12.30-1.00pm Wirral Borough Council
Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead, moved a debate on the operation of Wirral Borough Council which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Robert Neill.
1.00-1.30pm Safety of fishing vessels
Sheryll Murray, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall, moved a debate on fitting of safety stop valves on fishing vessels which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning.
1.30-2.00pm Economic development in Barnsley
Angela Smith, Labour MP for Penistone and Stockbridge, moved a debate on the role of Government in supporting economic development in Barnsley which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Norman Lamb.
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.