MK’s MPs spend almost £2,400 on Facebook advertising

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MK’s two Conservative MPs spent £2,382 advertising on Facebook and Instragram over the last year.

According to a new analysis on data held by Facebook, MK North MP Mark Lancaster spent £1,030.

That was split between £152 registered as being paid by MP himself, £716 by the local party, and £162 by the party nationally.

And his colleague Iain Stewart, who represents MK South, spent £1,352, of which just over £1,050 was paid by the local party and the remaining £293 by the party nationally.

The figures cover the period between October 2018 and September 7.

Over that time hundreds of individual MPs, elected officials and local authorities placed nearly half a million pounds’ worth of promotions on Facebook and Instagram, both of which are owned by Facebook Inc.

Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media giant last year began publishing details of who places - and pays for - adverts promoting political or social issues.

Spending on these ads, often targeted to specific groups, has totalled more than £6.4million since last October.

And while much of the attention has focused on the big parties and pressure groups on either side of the Brexit divide, the data also reveals the thousands of adverts placed at a local level, often seeking to influence constituents on what can appear to be seemingly mundane neighbourhood issues.

Under new rules Facebook introduced in October 2018, anyone placing a political advert must declare who paid for it.

Around 300 ads on the pages of local politicians and councils were run without these disclaimers - including 40 placed on behalf of sitting MPs. However this was not the case for either of MK’s two MPs.