11:15: Theresa May just stood outside Downing Street and did a very dramatic speech that sounded part-Thatcher, part Dalek. She said it is with reluctance that she called an election, but with determination that she will fight it.
In particular she said that without a mandate, opposition parties will try and scupper Brexit efforts.
"The country is coming together, but Westminster is not. In recent weeks Labour has threatened to vote against the deal we reach with the European Union. The Liberal Democrats have said they want to grind the business of government to a standstill. The Scottish National Party say they will vote against the legislation that formally repeals Britain's membership of the European Union. And unelected members of the House of Lords have vowed to fight us every step of the way. Our opponents believe that because the Government's majority is so small, our resolve will weaken and that they can force us to change course. They are wrong."
11:25: Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats, is the first opposition leader to comment on the election:
"This election is your chance to change the direction of our country. If you want to avoid a disastrous hard Brexit. If you want to keep Britain in the single market. If you want a Britain that is open, tolerant and united, this is your chance. Only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a Conservative majority."
The biggest reason for this election is that May recognises how weak Corbyn's Labour are. According to a recent Yougov poll 50 percent of people believe she would be a better prime minister compared to just 14 percent for Jeremy Corbyn
At least one Labour MP has already announced that they will not stand for re-election. In every election cycle there's a fair amount of MPs who choose not to run but there may be a number of Labour members in particular, who use this as an opportunity to bow out of a party where they are at odds with the current leadership.
Still no announcement from Labour but the Greens have popped up, this from Caroline Lucas:
"Britain is at a crossroads – and today's announcement means that people are rightly given a say over the direction this country is going to take. Only the Green party offers a bold, positive vision for a different kind of Britain. At this election we will stand for an economy that works for everyone, not just the privileged few; a Britain that's open to the world and the protection of our precious environment. We will stand up to the politics of hatred and division that is scarring our communities and give people across the country a chance to vote for a better Britain."
Jeremy Corbyn has made his statement via Facebook like a mum who really wants to get her piece out
Quite a few people pointing out that May's message to Scotland, that they can't have a second referendum because we need to get on with Brexit, looks very weak now we are pausing Brexit to have a general election.
In case you were worried:
One of the less-spoken about reasons for an early election, will make it harder for prosecutions to be made over alleged expenses fraud in the last:
This story is ongoing and will be updated as events unfold.