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: Tuesday 19 March 2013
9.30-11am – UK Trade & Investment
Nick de Bois, Conservative MP for Enfield North, moved a debate on the role and effectiveness of UKTI working with the FCO to develop trade and investment. The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Hugo Swire, responded on behalf of the Government.
11-11.30am – South West Trains
Dominic Raab, Conservative MP for Esher and Walton, moved a debate on South West Trains. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Norman Baker, responded on behalf of the Government.
2.30-4pm – Fuel poverty (Wales)
Chris Ruane, Labour MP for Vale of Clwyd, moved a debate on fuel poverty in Wales. The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Gregory Barker, responded on behalf of the Government.
4-4.30pm – Bangladesh (Escalation of Violence)
Rushanara Ali, Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, moved a debate on the escalation of violence in Bangladesh. The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Hugo Swire, responded on behalf of the Government.
4.30-5pm – Police Community Support Officers
Ian Lucas, Labour MP for Wrexham, moved a debate on the powers of the Police Community Support Officers. The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice, Damian Green, 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.