Writing in the Yorkshire Post on why she defected from the Tories in 2011, missing their Manchester conference Atikinson noted: "I won't get to attend many of the fringe events that represent the real Conservative Party and I will miss having a drink with my friends but apart from that, no. It was much more fun in Eastbourne with Nigel Farage and co."
This is the party whose treasurer, Stuart Wheeler said: "Business is very, very competitive and you should take the performance of women in another competitive are, which is sport where men have no strength advantage. Chess, bridge, poker - women come absolutely nowhere." However Atkinson insists that her former party, the Conservatives are far more sexist than UKIP: "If you think about the political parties and the type of people that belong to them, I came across more sexism in the Tory party than I ever have done in UKIP."
Calling Stuart Wheeler a "sweetie" Atkinson instead says it is the clubs in the Tory shires and working men's clubs of the Labour north that hold the more sexist attitudes. "They'd like to go back to a 1950s Britain. We're not going back to a 1950s Britain, we've got to look forward."
I can't decide as a woman in UKIP if you win points for matching male members pint for pint or offering to do their ironing...
The question is whether this is because the right really has an acceptance of women on a meritocratic basis, or that the left is more comfortable in speaking out against such injustices. Or if it is a case of not revealing cracks from the inner workings of the party in a bid to appear more solid. Because if that is the case the problem will go unconfronted and unsolved.
Because it is a competition. From both the party and the voters point of view. I'm not saying my politics rest entirely on which side is the least sexist and I say least as opposed to not because, yeah, I think we're still in those realms. The lesser evil, the lesser sexism.
What is less supportive? To note issues and be vocal about them or to bury them and tell anyone who complains to pull themselves up by their bootstraps? The running anxiety in feminism is whether or not we should be so vocal about those who are marginalised within feminism, or criticise those few public feminists loudly and demonstrate the huge divisions there are in feminism.
I think I'd still have to go with the feminism that says 'there are problems within our ranks' and the party that says 'there is sexism within our ranks' because I want to be part of something where people are heard, rather than forced to look on, poker faced.