The debates were two of five scheduled Westminster Hall debates that gave MPs an opportunity to raise local or national issues and receive a response from a government minister.
Westminster Hall debates: 17 December 2013
9.30-11.00 am – Tomlinson Report
Guto Bebb, Conservative MP for Aberconwy, moved a debate on the Tomlinson Report on banks' lending policies. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Sajid Javid, responded on behalf of the Government.
11.00-11.30 am – Hypothyroidism
Mrs Caroline Spelman, Conservative MP for Meriden, moved a debate on Hypothyroidism. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Jane Ellison, responded on behalf of the Government.
2.30-4.00 pm – Rare Diseases
Jim Shannon, Democratic Unionist MP for Strangford, moved a debate on rare diseases. The Minister of State, Department of Health, Norman Lamb, responded on behalf of the Government.
4.00-4.30 pm – Sixth-Form Colleges (VAT)
Lisa Nandy, Labour MP for Wigan, moved a debate on sixth-form colleges and VAT. The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Mr David Gauke, responded on behalf of the Government.
4.30-5.00 pm – Housing and Related Jobs (Greater London)
Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, moved a debate on housing and related jobs in Greater London. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Kris Hopkins, 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. 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.
Watching Westminster Hall debates from the public gallery
UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public galleries.
This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.