Victoria Atkins

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Victoria Atkins
MP
Official portrait of Victoria Atkins crop 2.jpg
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding, and Vulnerability
Assumed office
9 November 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May
Sec. of State Amber Rudd
Sajid Javid
Preceded by Sarah Newton
Minister for Women
Assumed office
8 January 2018
Prime Minister Theresa May
Minister Amber Rudd
Penny Mordaunt
Preceded by Anne Milton
Member of Parliament
for Louth and Horncastle
Assumed office
7 May 2015
Preceded by Peter Tapsell
Majority 19,641 (37.2%)
Personal details
Born (1976-03-22) 22 March 1976 (age 42)
London, England
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Paul Kenward[1]
Children 1[2][3]
Alma mater Corpus Christi College,
Cambridge
Website victoriaatkins.org.uk

Victoria Mary Atkins MP (born 22 March 1976)[4] is a British Conservative Party politician and former lawyer. She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Louth and Horncastle in the May 2015 general election.[5]

Early life[edit]

Atkins was born on 22 March 1976 in London. She is the daughter of Sir Robert Atkins, a former Conservative MP and MEP. She was privately educated at the Arnold School, a co-educational independent school in Blackpool in Lancashire, followed by Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where she studied law.

Legal career[edit]

Atkins was called to the bar (Middle Temple) in 1998.[6][7] She worked as a barrister in the field of fraud in London.[6][8]

Political career[edit]

In November 2012, Atkins stood unsuccessfully in the first ever Police and Crime Commissioner elections for the Gloucestershire Constabulary area. Although she won on first preference votes, she was beaten by Martin Surl (independent) on second preferences.[9][10] She was also shortlisted for the safe seat of Salisbury in 2010.[11]

Parliamentary career[edit]

Atkins was selected over three others in July 2014 as the Conservative candidate for Louth and Horncastle, at a meeting (referred to as an "Open Primary" by the party)[12] of around 200 local party members in Spilsby.[13][14] Former Prime Minister John Major, who supported her first parliamentary election campaign, has known her "since she was born".[15]

After becoming the MP for Louth and Horncastle at the 2015 general election, Atkins was appointed as a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee in July 2015.[16]

Atkins was opposed to Brexit prior to the 2016 EU membership referendum but consistently voted in favour of a referendum being held.[17][18] After the referendum, she voted in favour of triggering Article 50 in February 2017.[19][20] In the 2017 general election, she retained the seat with 63.9% of the votes and an increased majority.[21]

In June 2017, Atkins was appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Evans.[22] Following Priti Patel's resignation as International Development Secretary, she replaced Sarah Newton as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Vulnerability, Safeguarding and Countering Extremism in the Home Office.[23]

In the House of Commons she has sat on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (Joint Committee) and the Home Affairs Committee.[24]

Controversies[edit]

In January 2016, Atkins was one of 72 MPs who voted down an amendment in Parliament on rental homes being “fit for human habitation” who were themselves landlords who derived an income from a property.[25]

In 2018, Peter Reynolds, president of Cannabis Law Reform, accused Atkins of "hypocrisy on a grand scale"[26] for opposing cannabis reform while her husband was managing director of British Sugar, a company licensed by the Home Office in 1998 to grow a non-psychoactive variant of cannabis for use by GW Pharmaceuticals as a pharmaceutical ingredient.[27][28][29]

In April 2018, Atkins admitted she did not know the number of police officers in the country, despite being a Home Office Minister, during an 'awkward' interview on the LBC radio station. This followed the leak of a Home Office report that had concluded cuts to police numbers have “likely contributed” to a rise in serious violent crime.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Atkins is married to Paul Kenward.[1] The couple have one son.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Mr P.R. Kenward and Miss V.M. Atkins - Engagements Announcements - Telegraph Announcements". announcements.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "About Victoria". Victoria Atkins MP. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Goodman, Paul (1 May 2015). "Cameron's Children: The next generation of Conservative MPs". Conservative Home. Retrieved 15 September 2016. Family: Married to Paul, the Managing Director of a food company, and has one son, Monty. 
  4. ^ Jamieson, Sophie (29 April 2015). "Female MPs: Parliament's future front bench stars". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "2015 General Election results: Louth & Horncastle". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Profile". The Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  7. ^ "Victoria Mary Atkins | Barrister | Barrister & Expert Witness Directory | Legal Hub". Thebardirectory.co.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  8. ^ Simmons, Richard, Meet the lawyers standing for Parliament, Lawyer 2B, 10 April 2015
  9. ^ "Gloucestershire PCC vote: Independent Martin Surl elected". BBC News. BBC. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  10. ^ "Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire election". BBC News. London: BBC. 16 November 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Carr, Tim (18 May 2015). "The Politicos Guide to the New House of Commons 2015: Profiles of the New MPs and Analysis of the 2015 General Election Results". Biteback Publishing. Retrieved 18 June 2017 – via Google Books. 
  12. ^ "Victoria Atkins wins hard-fought Louth and Horncastle Open Primary". Conservative Home. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "Victoria Atkins named Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Louth and Horncastle after hard fought primary". Grimsby Telegraph. Grimsby: Local World. 29 July 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  14. ^ "Victoria Atkin selected as Conservative Party Primary candidate to succeed Sir Peter Tapsell". Louth Leader. Louth, Lincolnshire: Johnston Press. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  15. ^ "Sir John Major visits to back Victoria Atkins in fight against UKIP's Colin Mair". Louth Leader. Louth, Lincolnshire: Johnston Press. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Home Affairs Committee: Committee membership announced". Parliament.UK. 8 July 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  17. ^ "Victoria Atkins MP, Louth and Horncastle - TheyWorkForYou". TheyWorkForYou. Retrieved 18 June 2017. 
  18. ^ Goodenough, Tom (16 February 2016). "Which Tory MPs back Brexit, who doesn't and who is still on the fence?". The Spectator. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  19. ^ Victoria Atkins MP for Louth & Horncastle (4 November 2016). "MP confirms she will vote in favour of triggering Article 50 if the issue comes before Parliament". Victoria Atkins. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  20. ^ Daly, Patrick (1 February 2017). "North Lincolnshire MPs help Article 50 vote to pass overwhelmingly". Grimsby Telegraph. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  21. ^ "Louth & Horncastle parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". Retrieved 18 June 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  22. ^ "Lincolnshire MP becomes junior minister". Retrieved 9 November 2017 – via www.bbc.co.uk. 
  23. ^ "Victoria Atkins MP becomes Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office". Retrieved 9 November 2017 – via www.louthleader.co.uk. 
  24. ^ "Victoria Atkins". Parliament UK. Retrieved 6 September 2018. 
  25. ^ "Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation". Independent. 13 January 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2018. 
  26. ^ "Drugs minister accused of 'hypocrisy on a grand scale' over husband's involvement in legal cannabis farm". The Independent. 17 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018. 
  27. ^ Kollewe, Julia (16 April 2011). "The man who secretly (and legally) grows 20 tonnes of cannabis a year". the Guardian. Retrieved 25 May 2018. 
  28. ^ "Drugs minister accused of 'hypocrisy'". BBC News. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 22 May 2018. 
  29. ^ Bradshaw, Julia (25 October 2016). "British Sugar to cultivate cannabis plants in Norfolk for GW Pharmaceuticals". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 May 2018. 
  30. ^ "Tory Home Office Minister Victoria Atkins Admits She Does Not Know How Many Police Officers There Are". Huffington Post. 9 April 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Tapsell
Member of Parliament
for Louth and Horncastle

2015–present
Incumbent