You or your staff can complete these steps but if your staff perform step 3 your handwritten signature is required.
- Check the rota. Departments answer debates in Westminster Hall according to a rota that is published in the Announcements section of the Order Paper. You need to hold your debate in a week when the department that you want a response from is answering. The deadline for submitting applications is Monday at 10pm (or the time the House finishes, if that’s earlier) for Westminster Hall debates in two weeks’ time.
- Fill in an application form (download an application form from the intranet (Word doc, 42KB) from the intranet or get a hard copy from the Table Office). Tick the box to specify whether you want to apply for a 30, 60 or 90-minute Westminster Hall debate (you can apply for two types of Westminster Hall debate, plus an adjournment debate in the Chamber, in any one week—the three debates can be on different subjects). The form asks:
- which week’s ballot you want to enter and whether there are any dates to avoid
- for the debate’s title (which should make it clear what the debate is about and be neutrally worded)
- which department you propose should answer the debate (the Table Office can help if you’re not sure)
- whether you’re intending to raise individual cases where legal proceedings, including inquests, might be active
- Take your application form to the Table Office in person, or ask another MP to take it for you. Or email it from your parliamentary email account to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or sign the application form and post it or ask your staff to take it to the Table Office (photocopied, stamped or faxed signatures can't be accepted).
- The Table Office will contact you if there’s a problem with your application. If you don’t hear, you can assume your application has been entered into the ballot held by the Speaker’s Office.
- The Speaker’s Office will contact you on the Tuesday morning after the Monday deadline if you’re successful in the ballot. If you’re not, you may want to resubmit your application for a subsequent week.