Whoever wins the General election, there won't be many women MPs in the south east.

The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for equality, said only 19 per cent of candidates selected by the three main parties in the region were women.

Prominent female contenders in the South East include Jenny Langston for the Tories in Hove and Lynne Ravenscroft for the Liberal Democrats in Chichester.

Fawcett Society director Mary-Ann Stephenson said: "The 1997 election proved the country was ready and willing to elect women MPs but political parties are still unwilling to select women for winnable seats."

May 23 2001