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.
Westminster Hall debates: 13 December 2011
Five debates were held in Westminster Hall. Watch and read the views expressed by MPs during the debates via the links to Parliament TV and Commons Hansard. Also, find more information about current parliamentary material in the Topics section on the Parliament website.
9.30-11.00am School sport
Gerry Sutcliffe, Labour MP for Bradford South, moved a debate on the future of school sport which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Tim Loughton.
11.00-12.30pm Welfare of laying hens directive
Anne McIntosh, Conservative MP for Thirsk and Malton, moved a debate on implications for the egg industry of the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive which received an answer from the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, James Paice.
12.30-1.00pm West Midlands and Coventry economy
Jim Cunningham, Labour MP for Coventry South, moved a debate on the economy of the West Midlands and Coventry which received an answer from the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, Mark Prisk.
1.00-1.30pm Children's access to parents
Charlie Elphicke, Conservative MP for Dover, moved a debate on children's access to parents which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, Tim Loughton.
1.30-2.00pm Empty homes in Hyndburn
Graham Jones, Labour MP for Hyndburn, moved a debate on empty homes in Hyndburn which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Andrew Stunell.
Westminster Hall debates
Westminster Hall adjournment debates allow MPs to discuss issues of local or personal interest which rarely have time to be debated in the main Chamber of the House of Commons. MPs can discuss a variety of issues and receive a response from a government Minister.