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: 22 November 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 Funding of horse racing
Matthew Hancock, Conservative MP for West Suffolk, moved a debate on the funding of horse racing which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, John Penrose.
11.00-12.30pm Human rights in Colombia
Jim Sheridan, Labour MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, moved a debate on human rights in Colombia which received an answer from the Minister of State for Central/South America, Jeremy Browne.
12.30-1.00pm Pension protection fund
Jonathan Evans, Conservative MP for Cardiff North, moved a debate on pension protection fund and financial assistance scheme which received an answer from the Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb.
1.00-1.30pm Incapacity benefit in the North East
Grahame M. Morris, Labour MP for Easington, moved a debate on the economic effects in the North East of changes to incapacity benefit which received an answer from the Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb.
1.30-2.00pm Music and the economy
Nigel Adams, Conservative MP for Selby and Ainsty, moved a debate on music and the UK economy which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, Edward Vaizey.
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.