These were the first of five Westminster Hall debates that took place on Tuesday 13 November 2012 that gave MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government Minister.
Schedule of Westminster Hall debates
9.30-11.00am Economy of the North-East
David Miliband, Labour MP for South Shields moved a debate on the economy of the north-east, which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Jo Swinson MP.
11-11.30am Prime Minister's evidence to the Leveson Inquiry
Chris Bryant, Labour MP for Rhondda moved a debate on about the Prime Minister’s evidence to the Leveson inquiry, which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Edward Vaizey MP.
2.30-4.00pm Charitable registration
Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton moved a debate on charitable registration and public benefit which received an answer from the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Nick Hurd MP.
4-4.30pm Alcohol advertising regulations
Alun Cairns, Conservative MP for Vale of Glamorgan, moved a debate on alcohol advertising regulations, which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Edward Vaizey MP.
4.30-5.00pm Preparation for personal independence payments
John Robertson, Labour MP for Glasgow North West, moved a debate on preparation for personal independence payments which received an answer from the The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey MP.
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.