Prime minister spends £50,000 trying to win over Brexiteers on social media

Prime Minister Theresa May reacts during a press conference at 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Matt D

Prime Minister Theresa May reacts during a press conference at 10 Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Dunham. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Downing Street has spent more than £50,000 trying to promote the Brexit deal online.

Theresa May was accused of throwing taxpayers' money 'down the drain' by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who obtained the figures with a parliamentary question.

No details were given of how the money was spent, but a series of clips promoting the deal have been released on the Twitter, Facebook and Google with the message to 'back the Brexit deal'.

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Releasing the figures in a written reply, Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith stressed that the £52,509 spend amounted to less than 0.02% of the total government communications budget of £300 million a year.

Moran, a supporter of the Best For Britain campaign for a People's Vote, said: 'It beggars belief that the prime minister is spending over £50,000 of taxpayers' money promoting a deal that literally no-one wants.

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'She knows full well she won't get this deal through Parliament, so why is she throwing our money down the drain promoting it online?

'The prime minister must stop wasting taxpayers' money promoting her duff Brexit deal, realise that it's never going to be accepted by Parliament and instead give the people the final say between accepting her deal or staying in the EU.'

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Smith said in her written reply: 'Over the last three months ... the prime minister's office has spent the following on paid social media posts related to the UK's exit from the EU: Total spend 20 August - 20 November: £52,509.84.

'This spend covers content outlining the UK's future economic partnership with the EU and the withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU.

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'Total annual government communications spend is circa £300m. This activity represents 0.017% of total spend for the year.'

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