EDITOR'S COMMENT: Atkins was '˜always tipped for a top role' in Government

As Victoria Atkins MP is promoted to her first ministerial role, editor JOHN FIELDHOUSE takes a look at her meteoric rise - from the backbencher to junior minister - after just two-and-a-half years in Parliament...

Victoria Atkins MP. ANL-170311-154910001

From the very moment she first appeared as the Conservative candidate for the Louth and Horncastle seat, Victoria Atkins was always tipped for a top role in the Government.

She has all the right connections - her father is a highly respected Tory stalwart, John Major is a family friend, and Theresa May a known ‘fan’.

Indeed, Mr Major and Mrs May both campaigned for Ms Atkins in the build up to the 2015 General Elections, visiting Woodhall Spa.

Well-connected or not, Ms Atkins has forged a strong reputation for herself in the corridors of power at Westminster.

Her background as a successful lawyer and barrister - and her involvement in some high profile cases - meant she was not afraid to speak out on issues close to her heart.

A mother herself, she is a staunch defender of family values and has helped a number of families in her constituency - often staying clear of the type of publicity some MPs would encourage.

I worked closely with one family she helped. They were full of praise for her support.

Ms Atkins did not want any publicity: ‘I’m just doing my job.’

She has campaigned for a number of local causes - not least better broadband and more funding for Lincolnshire police. She has set up job summits to help people back into work.

She is a leading figure in the campaign for a Horncastle by-pass, and is determined to secure the future of Louth Hospital.

Away from Parliament, she has a smile that would light the darkest of nights.

But don’t let that engaging personality fool you.

She can be spiky and passionate - a staunch and committed defender of what she believes in.

Her foot now is in the Home Office door.

Perhaps the only question now is how far will she go in Government?