THERESA May has called a General Election on June 8, with a plea to British voters to put their trust in her to deliver a good result from Brexit.

Making her shock announcement, the Prime Minister claimed divisions at Westminster risked jeopardising the negotiations to pull the UK out of the European Union.

Hexham's MP Guy Opperman has already confirmed he will be putting himself forward to stand in the hope of retaining the constituency seat.

"This election will be a choice of leadership for the country," he told the Courant .

"Strong stable leadership under Theresa May or the unstable chaos of Jeremy Corbyn."

Having repeatedly ruled out calling a snap election in the past, Mrs May said she had "reluctantly" taken the decision to go to the country after seeing other parties "playing games" with the process of preparing for Brexit negotiations.

Her final decision was taken during a walking holiday in Snowdonia with husband Philip, and she told the Queen on Easter Monday before getting the full approval of Cabinet on Tuesday morning.

Under the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act introduced by her predecessor David Cameron, the Prime Minister will require the support of two-thirds of MPs to go to the country, with a vote scheduled in the Commons on Wednesday.

The move stunned Westminster, as Mrs May and Number 10 have repeatedly insisted she would not seek a general election before the scheduled 2020 poll.

Mr Opperman added: "We need this election now to secure the strong and stable leadership the country needs to see us through Brexit and beyond.

"Fundamentally every vote cast for Theresa May and the Conservatives will count to strengthen Britain's hand in the Brexit negotiations."