RUMOURS that the veteran Christchurch MP Sir Chris Chope, who is understood to have the largest majority in the House of Commons, would not stand in the 'Brexmas' election have been scotched by Sir Chris himself.

He has confirmed he will be standing in the December 12 poll. "It will be a Brexit election," he said, adding that he was keen to 'get out campaigning' so that 'Britain could leave Europe'.

All but one of Dorset's sitting MPs is understood to be standing in what's tipped to be the hardest-fought election of modern times.

Not only will the December polling day pose logistical difficulties for canvassers and voters alike, the main parties face a fractured vote with people considering Brexit alongside traditional concerns.

Independent Conservative MP for West Dorset, Sir Oliver Letwin, announced he would quit last August.

But Poole MP Sir Robert Syms has confirmed he is standing.

“We have a Brexit deal but there are problems getting that through, so it would seem to be the logical thing to do to let people decide what they want," he said. "Another referendum would take six months or a year.”

Meanwhile MP for Bournemouth East, Tobias Ellwood, has described as 'shameful spin' a tweet put out less than 24 hours after the election was announced, which claimed he said that ' 16-year-olds shouldn't be allowed to vote in #GeneralElection2019 because they'd vote against the Tories.'

An organisation called 'Our Future, Our Choice' claimed that in a Sky TV interview Mr Ellwood said: "To have it (voting age change) thrust upon us right now, when we know it will probably favour one particular party. Now's not the time to do it."

On its website OFOC says: "We believe that there is no good Brexit deal for young people. Brexit means less opportunity, a tougher job market and fewer rights for young people. Our generation must be given a say on a decision that will affect us for the rest of our lives. That's why Our Future, Our Choice is committed to a People's Vote on the final Brexit deal."

Mr Ellwood did not name any political party in the interview and has asked the organisation to take their allegation down.

He tweeted: "Truly shameful spin glossing over my general SUPPORT for giving 16 year olds the vote. Complex admin changes meant delaying this election(& Brexit)- if included this time. Many 16/17 yr olds also call for greater awareness of political issues so votes are used wisely. I agree."

He told the Echo he had long supported 16-year-olds being able to vote but: "This was suddenly presented as an amendment and for technical reasons inclusion wouldn't be possible at this time - it would delay the election and Brexit.

"People have spinned what I've said for their own benefit. Someone has chosen to take out of context the words that I said," he added.

News is also coming in of the candidates who will be challenging local MPs.

In Christchurch, former police officer Andrew Dunne will be running for Labour against Sir Chris Chope. His office said: "He will refuse to give in to any of the negative campaigning pursued by other local parties, because he believes in the Labour Party’s positive message to the country that will be of great benefit to our area and residents."

Mr Dunne said: "It’s time people saw Chope for what he is and were given a viable alternative that they can get behind. I will stand up for what is right, and put people and services before wealth and power, as it should be.