PRIME Minister Theresa May visited the Daily Echo today as part of her nationwide tour of the UK ahead of the general election on June 8.

Accompanied by the Conservative candidates for Southampton Itchen and Southampton Test, she was given a comprehensive tour of the Newsquest offices in Test Lane, Redbridge.

Mrs May refused to predict the outcome of the poll, saying she never attempted to forecast election results.

But she repeatedly stressed that Britain needed a "strong and stable leadership" during the tough Brexit negotiations that lay ahead and warned that a Labour victory would result in a "coalition of chaos" under Jeremy Corbyn.

Mrs May was asked about the future of the 25,000 Poles living in Southampton and whether they could remain once Britain left the EU.

She said: "I want to be able to guarantee their status and rights but as prime minister of the UK I'm also concerned about the future of the UK citizens who have chosen to live in the 27 other member states."

Mrs May she said hoped to secure a reciprocal agreement during the Brexit talks.

"There's goodwill around the table and I'm working very hard to secure early reassurance for the people concerned," she said.

Mrs May praised the Daily Echo’s contribution to the campaign against fake news.

She said: “It’s a question of educating the young. Local papers are staffed by trained journalists. It’s important that people have access to the facts and know where to find them.”

During her visit to the Echo Mrs May was accompanied by Tory candidate Royston Smith, who is bidding to retain his Southampton Itchen seat, and fellow Conservative Paul Holmes, who is out to take Southampton Test from Labour's Alan Whitehead.

She was shown round by Gordon Sutter, editor of the Daily Echo, and Vincent Boni, regional managing director of Newsquest.

Mrs May was shown a copy of today's edition, which includes a poll suggesting that people who previously supported UKIP will vote for either the Conservatives or Labour on June 8.

But she denied that the Conservatives were feeling complacent following their triumph in last week's local elections.