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: 27 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 Illegal alcohol and tobacco sales
Jesse Norman, Conservative MP for Hereford and South Herefordshire, moved a debate on illegal sales of alcohol and tabacco which received an answer from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chloe Smith.
11.00-11.30am 16 to 18 mathematics education
Elizabeth Truss, Conservative MP for South West Norfolk, moved a debate on 16 to 18 mathematics education which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Tim Loughton.
2.30-4.00pm Israel and the peace process
John Woodcock, Labour/Co-op MP for Barrow and Furness, moved a debate on Israel and the peace process which received an answer from the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Jeremy Browne.
4.00-4.30pm EU Directive on animal experimentation
Nic Dakin, Labour MP for Scunthorpe, moved a debate on transposition into UK law of the EU Directive on animal experimentation which received an answer from the Minister of State for Immigration, Damian Green.
4.30-5.00pm British expatriates in Punjab
Dominic Raab, Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, moved a debate on British expatriates and criminal justice in Punjab India which received an answer from the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Jeremy Browne.
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.