Atkins targets more women in leading roles

Victoria Atkins MP with Home Secretary Theresa May.
Victoria Atkins MP with Home Secretary Theresa May.
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Louth and Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins has called for more women to get involved in politics and also be handed the chance to occupy top positions in local businesses.

Ms Atkins has revealed her own political career was inspired by influential role models like Home Secretary Theresa May.

In an exclusive interview as part of International Women’s Day, Ms Atkins said Ms May was doing an incredible job in is one of toughest roles in Parliament.

Ms Atkins said: “I would love to see more women now and in the future get involved in local politics and be given the opportunity to go for the top business positions within my constituency.

“Whether that be standing for your local council, writing about political issues or becoming a female headteacher - and of course to get more women in Whitehall.”

Ms Atkins also highlighted important historical figures from the Louth and Horncastle constituency.

She added: “In the House of Commons last week, we mentioned that in 1921 Louth and Horncastle voted in their first female MP - Margaret Wintringham.

“And in 2015, I was lucky enough to be elected and we are still campaigning about some of the issues that Margaret raised.

“I would love to get to a situation where we had full women’s equality but we are not there yet.”

To mark International Women’s Day, Ms Atkins launched a competition to give two female students from her constituency an opportunity to ‘shadow her’ for a day at the Houses of Parliament.

Two students from Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Horncastle were chosen from dozens of applications - Jessica Sherwood and Ellie Jones and they have already travelled to London.

Ms Atkins added: “I had a number of fantastic applications that came after setting up this competition.

“But Ellie really stood out for me due to her strong ideas of wanting to bring forward the teaching of politics in secondary schools and Jess on her interest of seeing how the impact of everyday political issues affect women, for example the gender pay gap.

“They both had a whistle stop tour of Westminster and Downing Street, got to ask questions to the Women and Equality Select Committee and sat in the public gallery.”