TUESDAY morning's shock announcement that Prime Minister Theresa May has called a General Election for June 8 is being backed by Ilkley's MP.

Kris Hopkins said he believed it was right to stage a General Election before Brexit negotiations get fully underway.

He added: “I campaigned vigorously for a Remain vote but, as a democrat, I fully accept the clearly expressed will of the people.

“It is important that we now pull together as a nation and seek to obtain the best possible deal for the United Kingdom as we prepare to leave the European Union.

“That is why it is right that the people get a further say on what Brexit should look like.

“As someone who has been proud to represent my home seat of Keighley and Ilkley in Parliament since 2010, I am proud to be putting my name forward for re-election.

“I will be asking local residents to support me on my record of achievement for them, and my commitment to helping the Conservative Government to secure a Brexit deal that will be in the best interests of Keighley and Ilkley.”

Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, whose constituency includes Burley and Menston, said Theresa May's announcement had taken him by surprise.

“I did not see this coming or expect it at all," he said.

“Anyone who asked me I told there would be no election, so what do I know?"

Presuming the election goes ahead, Mr Davies said he was confident of an increased majority for the Conservatives.

He said: “If we have an election, I hope the Prime Minister will be given a ringing endorsement by the British people to get the best possible deal for Britain, and showing the country is right behind her for the negotiations would be incredibly helpful.”

Speaking about his own constituency, Mr Davies said he never takes any person’s vote for granted.

“I am never complacent about votes, so I will give it my best shot and respect whatever the outcome is.”