MEMBERS of Parliament from across Hampshire have thrown their backing behind a request from Prime Minister Theresa May to hold a general election on June 8.

The call from the PM comes amid the background of the UK leaving the European Union.

The county’s MP’s have largely praised the decision.

Winchester MP Steve Brine said: "I don't think we like elections all that much in the UK but we need this now to secure the strong and stable leadership our country requires at this pivotal moment.

"I will be standing locally as an experienced constituency MP working at the heart of Government and the choice nationally is clear; leadership in the national interest under Theresa May or a weak and unstable coalition Government with Jeremy Corbyn as our Prime Minister."

However Labour activist in Winchester, and four-time parliamentary candidate Patrick Davies, believes that the decision to call an election will mean Theresa May can impose more "hardline" Conservative policies.

Mr Davis said: "I was not totally surprised, I thought her so-called promise of holding on until 2020 was total fiction.

"She called it now so she can get a larger majority and impose hardline Tory policies, my view is her pretence is to get her hard Brexit policies is just a lie.

"I do not accept that the General Election is fought on the issue of Brexit, people are much more worried about day-to-day concerns like what's going on in schools, and the issue of school funding being lost, and the horrible problems of the health service.

"Those are the real issues that are going to hit people."

Liberal Democrat group leader in Winchester, Lucille Thompson welcomed the announcement and said her party is up for the fight.

Cllr Thompson said: "I think from a Liberal Democrat perspective it is fantastic, I think we have everything to play for. It is something we have been calling for, that Theresa May does not have a mandate and we are up for it.

"We have seen a bit of movement from the 48 per cent who voted to stay in the EU, because in Winchester we quite heavily voted to remain, it is a strong argument and a number of people are coming across joining us, and that has happened since Brexit took place."

Conservative Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery said: "The Prime Minister’s announcement today is absolutely the right decision in the national interest because it allows voters to make the choice between stability and certainty as we leave the EU or instability and chaos at the hands of a coalition of Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP. These parties are only interested in reversing the referendum result or weakening our negotiating hand so there is no strong deal when we leave the EU.

"It will also allow the Government a new mandate at the same time as there are newly elected leaders in France and Germany and this could prove very helpful in the months to come.

"The PM has made it clear she was reluctant to make this decision but, considering the posturing of those political parties who want to do all they can to frustrate our negotiations to leave the EU, she was left with no alternative. In this she has my full support."