Under pressure to show tolerance towards all groups, President Mohamed Mursi appointed 90 members including Christians, Liberals and women to the upper house – with Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Salafis – last week.

But in a resignation letter published by the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper, Henry said liberal and other minority groups were not represented properly in the chamber.

“I agreed to the membership of the Shura Council (upper house) in the context of consensus that stressed all civil forces will get appointed,” Henry wrote.

“Since that did not happen, I hope you accept my apology for not accepting the appointment,” she said.