The debates were two of five scheduled Westminster Hall debates that gave MPs an opportunity to raise local and national issues and to receive a response from a Government Minister.
Schedule of Westminster Hall debates: 5 November 2013
9.30am - 11am: Persecution of Christians (Middle East)
Fiona Bruce, Conservative MP for Congleton, moved a debate on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. The Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Hugo Swire, responded on behalf of the Government.
11am - 11.30am: Renewable Energy (Peterborough)
Mr Stewart Jackson, Conservative MP for Peterborough, moved a debate on Renewable Energy in Peterborough. The Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Gregory Barker, responded on behalf of the Government.
2.30pm - 4pm: Under-Occupancy Penalty
Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck, Labour MP for South Shields, moved a debate on the Under-Occupancy Penalty. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Kris Hopkins, responded on behalf of the Government.
4pm - 4.30pm: NHS Funding (North-East and Teesside)
Tom Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, moved a debate on NHS Funding in the North-East and Teesside. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health, Dr Daniel Poulter, responded on behalf of the Government.
4.30pm - 5pm: The Maldives
Karen Lumley, Conservative MP for Redditch, moved a debate on the constitutional crisis in the Maldives. The Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Hugo Swire, responded on behalf of the Government.
About 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.
Watching Westminster Hall debates from the public gallery
UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public galleries.
Image: Parliamentary copyright
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