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 February 2012
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 Human rights in Sri Lanka
Virendra Sharma, Labour MP for Ealing, Southall, moved a debate on human rights in Sri Lanka which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Alistair Burt.
11.00-11.30am Exeter flood defences
Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, moved a debate on flood defences in Exeter which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Richard Benyon.
2.30-4.00pm Death of Kevin Williams at Hillsborough
Stephen Moslet, Conservative MP for City of Chester, moved a debate on inquest into the death of Kevin Williams at Hillsborough which received an answer from the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve.
4.00-4.30pm Fishing quotas
David Amass, Conservative MP for Southend West, moved a debate on fishing quotas and the case of Paul Gilson which received an answer from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Richard Benyon.
4.30-5.00pm Fuel duty in Northern Ireland
Margaret Ritchie, Social Labour and Democratic Party MP for South Down, moved a debate on cost of fuel duties in Northern Ireland which received an answer from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Chloe Smith.
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.