Westminster Hall debates: 21 March 2012

22 March 2012

Westminster Hall debates provide MPs with an opportunity to debate local or national issues and to receive a response from a government Minister.

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 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 Thamesteel 

Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, moved a debate on Thamesteel and the future of UK steel production which received an answer from the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.

11.00-11.30am Water and sanitation

Naomi Long, Alliance MP for Belfast East, moved a debate on water and sanitation which received an answer from the Minister of State, Department for International Development, Alan Duncan.

2.30-4.00pm Safety of journalists abroad 

Don Foster, Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, moved a debate on the safety of journalists abroad which received an answer from the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Jeremy Browne.

4.00-4.30pm Litigation friends 

John Hemming, Liberal Democrat MP for Birmingham Yardley, moved a debate on litigation friends which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Jonathan Djanogly.

4.30-5.00pm Mobility scooter safety

Alison Seabeck, Labour MP for Plymouth, Moor view, moved a debate on Mobility scooter safety which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport.

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.

Image: iStockphoto 

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