The Liberal Democrats have seen a surge of new members in the minutes following the announcement of a snap general election, the party has said.
The party’s internal membership figures show it has gained around 1,000 new members in just one hour after Theresa May announced that there would be a general election on 8 June.
The party is hoping to make significant gains at the election, following a disastrous result in 2016 where it was reduced to just six MPs after going into coalition with the Conservatives.
Despite the surge the Liberal Democrats membership is still significantly smaller than Labour’s. The party has just under 90,000 members while Labour had 528,000 at last count at the start of the year. 
The Conservatives have not released up to date membership figures since 2013; they are estimated to have around 100,000 members.
President of the Liberal Democrats, Sal Brinton, said: “This is a time when liberals must stand together, …