WITHAM MP Priti Patel voiced frustration at the slow pace of progress in the “bureaucratic” House of Commons.

One year after being elected with a resounding majority, Ms Patel said some procedures meant she could be in the chamber for hours, without being able to speak in the debate.

The Conservative MP, whose constituency includes Stanway, said she would welcome changes to improve the workings of the House.

Ms Patel said: “It is a very bureaucratic institution.

“People assume you get to speak whenever you want. But even to speak, you have to write to the Speaker and ask. You can end up sitting for six to eight hours. It is incredibly frustrating and a waste of time.”

She added it also took between six and eight weeks to get a response from a minister.

She said: “A lot of people think I can click my fingers and it will be sorted. But it sometimes takes six to eight weeks.

“I would like to be able to do a lot more. But I can’t because it is very bureaucratic and takes a lot of time.”

Ms Patel suggested rather than notifying the Speaker about wishing to take part in a debate, it should be done on a first-come-first-served basis.

She also recommended replies be sent by e-mail, rather than post, where possible, and that responses to written questions should be much faster and efficient, given the number of people in the Civil Service.

Ms Patel said: “In business, time is money. At the end of the day, it is taxpayers’ money and civil servants should be trying to be as efficient as possible.

“Why should a response take eight weeks? I don’t think it is acceptable.”