The debates were among five Westminster Hall debates that gave MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a Government minister.
Schedule of Westminster Hall debates: 23 April 2013
9.30-11am: Accident and Emergency Waiting Times
Ann Clwyd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley, moved a debate on A & E waiting times. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Anna Soubry, responded on behalf of the Government.
11-11.30am: Under-Occupancy Penalty (Wigan)
Yvonne Fovargue, Labour MP for Makerfield, moved a debate on the under-occupancy penalty in Wigan. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, responded on behalf of the Government.
Bob Stewart, Conservative MP for Beckenham, moved a debate on army reservists. The Minister for the Armed Forces, Mr Andrew Robathan, responded on behalf of the Government.
4-4.30pm: Sharia Law
Kris Hopkins, Conservative MP for Keighley, moved a debate on Sharia law in the UK. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Mrs Helen Grant, responded on behalf of the Government.
4.30-5pm: Health Inequalities
Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing, Southall, moved a debate on health inequalities. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Anna Soubry, responded on behalf of the Government.
Westminster Hall debates
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays there are two one and a half hour debates and three half hour debates in Westminster Hall. 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.