All-party unity over women's campaign

'I'M A socialist, Teresa's a Tory. But this is one thing we all agree on . . . Isn't that right, Teresa?' asks Glenda Jackson, Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate, writes Patricia Wynn Davies. 'Yes it certainly is. Thanks very much Glenda,' says Mrs Gorman, the right-wing MP for Billericay.

That unprecedented conversation, agreeing on the need for more women in political life, can be heard by dialling 0891-500 130, the action line for the Women into Politics initiative, launched yesterday by Ms Jackson, Mrs Gorman and Liz Lynne, Rochdale's Liberal Democrat MP.

There are 59 women out of 651 MPs, less than 10 per cent for half the population. The group wants more women in politics at all levels - and ideas on how to achieve that on the answering machine.

The alliance of the three MPs - the fiercely socialist Ms Jackson, the fiercely anti- Labour Ms Lynne, and fiercely right-wing Mrs Gorman - is not so unlikely. Mrs Gorman has spoken out on such issues as misogynist male judges and a woman's right to choose an abortion.