In a letter posted on her social media account, Ms Atkins said it was with “sadness and regret” that she would be resigning as Justice Minister, citing the “fractured values” that have occurred during Mr Johnson’s leadership as her reasons for resigning, and that she could no longer give him the “benefit of the doubt”.
Her letter to Boris Johnson continued: “Values such as integrity, decency, respect and professionalism should matter to us all. I have watched with growing concern as those values have fractured under your leadership through Patterson, Pincher and Partygate. I have given you the benefit of the doubt at each turn, out of loyalty to you as Prime Minister and to our great party.
"The events of this week, however, have made these contortions impossible. The casual mistreatment of Minister Will Quince and the revelations contained in Lord McDonald’s letter highlight just how far your government has fallen from these ideals.
"I can no longer pirouette around our fractured values. We can and must be better than this."
Ms Atkins said that this was a time that constituents face grave cost of living pressures not experienced for decades, and that “these challenges demand resolute focus and we must take the country with us – we cannot provide that focus at present.”
She concluded that it had been a “pleasure and privilege” to serve as Minister, and she was proud to have led the Domestic Abuse Act through Parliament, while thanking Mr Johnson for the opportunity to serve, and said that she must “look to the future for my contituents and the party”.
Ms Atkins is one of many MPs who have resigned from their Cabinet roles in light of revelations that Mr Johnson gave Tamworth MP Chris Pincher a government role despite being told about a misconduct complaint against him.
Yesterday (Tuesday), Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health Secretary Sajid Javid resigned within minutes of each other, and today further MP resignations have occurred.
Ms Atkins’ office has been contacted for comment.