A GENERAL election has been called for June 8.

Prime Minister Theresa May made the shock announcement this morning, Tuesday.

Labour’s Derek Twigg romped home to victory in Halton in 2015 with 28,292 votes.

He has represented the borough in parliament since 1997.

In the marginal seat of Weaver Vale, Conservative Graham Evans won the battle to continue to represent Runcorn with 20,227 votes, just 806 votes ahead of his Labour rival Julia Tickeridge.

Mr Evans, first elected in 2010, said news of the election had come as ‘a complete surprise’.

He said: “I was on College Green promoting my London Marathon when I heard a General Election had been called.

“I’m a fighter. I will be running my sixth marathon on Sunday and organising my sixth jobs apprentice fair on May 18.

“I’ve always worked very hard.

“In Halton we’ve got the Mersey Gateway bridge, the Halton Curve, full employment and very low unemployment.

“It is up to the good people of Weaver Vale whether they decide they want me to be their MP.

“I will continue to be a hard working constituency MP.”

Mr Twigg said: “The Prime Minister has called this election because of her narrow party interests after months of stating there would be no election until 2020.

“I believe I have been a strong voice for Halton in Westminster and a hard working constituency MP who has a long record of achievements on behalf the people of Halton.  

“Seven years of Tory and coalition government has left the NHS facing its biggest crisis since the 1990s and social care at a tipping point.

“Schools are facing a funding crisis with cuts to school budgets in Halton. "They have continued austerity through their mismanagement of the economy.

“I am looking forward to standing again as the Labour candidate and believe the people of Halton want a strong local voice in parliament, they know they get that with me.”