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: 14 March 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 First-time buyers
Steve Brine, Conservative MP for Winchester, moved a debate on Government support for first-time buyers which received an answer from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chloe Smith.
11.00-11.30am Future mobile competition
Alun Cairns, Conservative MP for Vale of Glamorgan, moved a debate on future mobile competition and the mobile investment project which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Edward Vaizey.
2.30-4.00pm Women's aid
Tom Clarke, Labour MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill, moved a debate on women's aid and safety and access to benefits which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Maria Miller.
4.00-4.30pm Freedom of Information Act
Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan, moved a debate on Cabinet Office guidance on the application of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which received an answer from the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Nick Hurd.
4.30-5.00pm Local media
Stephen McPartland, Conservative MP for Stevenage, moved a debate on importance of local media to small towns and cities which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Edward Vaizey.
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.