Louth and Horncastle MP Victoria Atkins has told close friends she is ‘proud and delighted’ with her promotion to a ministerial role following a government reshuffle.
Prime Minister Theresa May has handed Ms Atkins the role of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office.
Ms Atkins replaces the previous holder, Sarah Newton, who has been made a minister in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
While the new post does not include a Cabinet seat, it highlights how highly Ms Atkins is rated in Government circles - and the impact she has made during a relatively short time at Westminster.
She is the first MP from the 2015 intake of Conservative MPs to be appointed to a ministerial role.
Ms Atkins was not available for an interview but sources close to her office said: “Victoria is proud and delighted with the appointment.
“I think she was as surprised as anyone when she was summoned to Downing Street last Thursday to be told.
“She is determined to reward the faith the PM has put in her.”
Ms Atkins has always been a close ally of the Prime Minister who campaigned alongside her in Woodhall Spa during the build up to the 2015 General Election.
At the time, Mrs May was Home Secretary.
Ms Atkins has maintained her backing for Mrs May since the 2017 General Election - despite the Conservatives losing their overall majority in the House of Commons.
Last month, she referred to Mrs May as ‘the right person to lead the country and deliver the best possible Brexit deal’.
Ms Atkins’ position will see her focus on crime, safeguarding and vulnerability at the Home Office.
She will be involved in a number of different areas, including measures to deal with terrorism, drugs and alcohol, youth crime, anti social behaviour, countering extremism, internet safety and modern slavery.
As a former barrister, she would appear to be ideally qualified to tackle the role.
Ms Atkins has also stressed to close colleagues that the appointment will not impact on her commitments as a constituency MP.
She is still determined to play a leading role in a number of local issues, from the fight to safeguard the future of Louth Hospital to calls for a new Horncastle by-pass.
Ms Atkins has a tough act to follow at the Home Office.
Her predecessor, Ms Newton, replaces Penny Mordaunt who has been promoted to the Cabinet as the new International Development Secretary, following the resignation of Priti Patel last Wednesday evening.
Mrs May was forced into the reshuffle last week after the resignation of two particularly high profile ministers - Ms Patel and Michael Fallon.