Former Justice Minister Ms Atkins was one of more than 50 MPs and ministers to resign from their roles last week in light of revelations that Mr Johnson gave Tamworth MP Chris Pincher a government role, despite being told about a misconduct complaint against him.
In the space of 48 extraordinary hours, just some of the cabinet and ministers to resign included Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Health Secretary Sajid Javid, education ministers Will Quince and Robin Walker, Treasury minister John Glen and environment minister Jo Churchill, with Mr Johnson himself resigning on Thursday evening.
As of today (Wednesday), eight candidates are now left in the running to be voted in as new Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, including Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman, Jeremy Hunt, Tom Tugendhat, Penny Mordaunt and Nadhim Zahawi.
But as yet, Ms Atkins has remained tight-lipped on who she will be giving her backing to, saying that she wants to listen to each candidate and see “how their vision chimes with the aspirations” she herself shares.
“As each hour passes, I am an increasingly rare breed: a Conservative MP who has not yet declared which candidate they will support in the leadership contest,” Ms Atkins said.
"This is not out of shyness or a lack of choice but because I want to listen to them and to see how their vision chimes with the aspirations I have for our local area and great country.”