The debates were among five scheduled 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: 24 April 2013
9.30-11am – Shaker Aamer
Jane Ellison, Conservative MP for Battersea, moved a debate on the case of Shaker Aamer. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt, responded on behalf of the Government.
At its public meeting on Tuesday 16 April, the Backbench Business Committee heard representations from Jane Ellison and Caroline Lucas for a debate relating to the Shaker Aamer e-petition as it had received over 100,000 signatures. The Committee advised the Member to apply for a debate in the Speaker’s ballot. Jane Ellison was successful.
11-11.30am – Food Waste
Mark Pawsey, Conservative MP for Rugby, moved a debate on reducing food waste. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Richard Benyon, responded on behalf of the Government.
2.30-4pm: Childhood Obesity and Diabetes
Keith Vaz, Labour MP for Leicester East, moved a debate on childhood obesity and diabetes. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Anna Soubry, responded on behalf of the Government.
4-4.30pm – William McGreanery
Mark Durkan, Social Democratic & Labour Party MP for Foyle, moved a debate on The Ministry of Defence response to the Historical Enquiries Team Report on the death of Mr William McGreanery. The Minister for the Armed Forces, Mr Andrew Robathan, responded on behalf of the Government.
4.30-5pm – BBC Trust
Mr Rob Wilson, Conservative MP for Reading East, moved a debate on the role of the BBC Trust in oversight of the BBC. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Mr Edward Vaizey, 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.