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.
Schedule of Westminster Hall debates: 13 February 2013
9.30-11am – No debate scheduled
11-11.30am – Accident and Emergency Provision (North-East)
Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, moved a debate on accident and emergency provision in North East England and North Yorkshire. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Dr Daniel Poulter, responded on behalf of the Government.
2.30-4pm – Collective Ministerial Responsibility
Christopher Chope, Conservative MP for Christchurch, moved a debate on collective ministerial responsibility. Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, Miss Chloe Smith, responded on behalf of the Government.
4-4.30pm – Engineering Careers
Nadine Dorries, Independent MP for Mid Bedfordshire, moved a debate on engineering as a career choice for young people. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills, Matthew Hancock, responded on behalf of the Government.
4.30-5pm – Army Career Offices (Wales)
Chris Evans, Labour/Co-operative MP for Islwyn, moved a debate on army career offices in Wales. The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Mr Mark Francois, 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.