North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson has confirmed his intention to stand for re-election after a snap General Election was called this morning.

The Conservative backbencher, who was re-elected for a fourth time in 2015, said he beleives the Prime Minister was right to call for an election to create a “solid majority” on which to begin Brexit negotiations.

Theresa May intends to take voters to the polls on Thursday, June 8, in a bid to create a strong leadership as the UK begins its Brexit talks.

A vote will be held in Parliament tomorrow to formally begin General Election proceedings.

Mr Paterson, who a staunch supporter of Brexit, said: “I intend to stand again as the Conservative candidate for North Shropshire and I hope to win.

“We need a good solid majority to deliver Brexit and to take back control of our country, our laws and our borders.

“I see this as an opportunity to get that strong majority.”

The announcement came as a shock after Downing Street had always denied a vote would be held before the next scheduled election in 2020, but Mrs May said she came “reluctantly” to the conclusion that it was necessary.

It comes just two years since the last General Election and less than 12 months since the European Union Referendum, which saw the UK vote to leave the EU – and in turn saw Mrs May take over from David Cameron after he was forced to step down as PM for supporting the bid to remain in the EU.