Atkins makes a '˜solid start' in her ministerial debut
Ms Atkins made her front bench debut, sitting alongside Home Secretary Amber Rudd, in a debate featuring a number of issues - including knife crime.
Ms Rudd fielded the first question but then handed the baton of responsibility to Ms Atkins, who was warmly welcomed by many of her fellow Tory MPs.
Before Ms Atkins answered the first question, she was heard to mutter: “No pressure.”
Several political commentators wrote about Ms Atkins’ strong political background. Her father Sir Robert is a former Sports Minister and was an MP and MEP for more than 30 years.
They also mentioned the jacket she chose for her debut - dubbed ‘Deepest Thatcher blue’ in one article.
Many commentators said Ms Atkins looked at home on the front bench, praising the way she responded to questions and referring to her experience as a barrister before becoming an MP.
Patrick Kidd, political sketch-writer for The Times, wrote last week that Ms Atkins had already ‘cast an early impression’ in Parliament, having displayed an ‘admirably theatrical manner’ while on the back benches.
However, he added that she ‘evaded the question like an old pro’ when challenged on police spending by Labour MP Barry Sheerman last week.
Quentin Letts, writing in the Daily Mail, said Ms Atkins was “arguably a match for Sir Peter [Tapsell] when it comes to self-confidence”, adding that she had ‘done well’ on her first ministerial outing.