Nearly £100,000 spent in week promoting PM’s Brexit deal on Facebook

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The UK Government spent almost £100,000 on Facebook adverts promoting Theresa May’s Brexit deal in the lead-up to the Commons vote being pulled, figures released by the social media firm show.

The company’s ad library report showed between Sunday December 2 and Saturday December 8 the UK Government spent £96,684 on 11 promotions on Facebook.

Jon Trickett MP, Labour’s shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, called the spending “a completely inappropriate use of public money” which was “entirely wasted”.

He said: “This reveals a government deeply paranoid and insecure about the botched deal they have been trying to sell to the British public, but which they now appear to have abandoned.

“Not only is this a completely inappropriate use of public money, but it turns out to have been entirely wasted.

“When official resources are used for the Prime Minister’s personal purposes it threatens our democracy.”

A Government spokeswoman said: “Communicating government policy effectively to the public is a core function of the Civil Service.

“We have reached a deal that is good for the UK, good for its citizens, and good for business and we will be communicating that to the country.

“We will publish all costs associated with this in the usual way.”

The adverts included videos on “what the Brexit Deal means for you – explained in 60 seconds” and others focusing on immigration and jobs.

Three videos, intending to explain the deal in terms of free trade, the economy and “controlling our borders”, cost between £10,000 and £50,000 each to promote, reaching between 500,000 and one million Facebook users apiece.

The Cabinet Office has yet to respond to requests for comment.

What the Brexit Deal means for you in 60 seconds

What the Brexit Deal means for you – explained in 60 seconds ?#BacktheBrexitDeal

Posted by UK government on Friday, December 7, 2018

There are also six active adverts on the official @10DowningStreet Twitter account promoting the same videos, although no information on the amount spent is currently available.

Facebook’s report comes a week after Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith revealed Downing Street had spent more than £50,000 promoting the deal in the previous three months.

Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who obtained the previous figures with a parliamentary question, accused the Government of throwing taxpayers’ money “down the drain”.

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