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Barrister becomes new trafficking minister


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There has apparently been politics happening in the past few days, leading to a mini-reshuffle of government ministers. Priti Patel’s humiliation is Sarah Newton’s promotion: the Home Office’s most junior minister moves to the Department for Work and Pensions, to be replaced by Victoria Atkins MP.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability – to give Atkins her full new title – has a dizzying list of responsibilities, from alcohol to violence against women and girls. The main thing of interest to immigration policy is the modern slavery brief, which encompasses work on trafficking. Newton had recently announced a package of measures “to radically improve the identification and support for victims of human trafficking and modern slavery”.

Victoria Atkins – no, me neither – was elected for a Lincolnshire seat in 2015 after a career in practice as a criminal barrister at Red Lion Chambers. She says that she is “the first member of my family to go to university”, although she is not the first member of her family to be an MP.

Atkins backed Remain in the Brexit referendum. She briefly served on the Home Affairs Select Committee, but this is her first job in government.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.