Corby MP spent nearly £500 on Facebook advertising in a bid to win votes, new figures reveal

Tom Pursglove MP for Corby
Tom Pursglove MP for Corby

Northamptonshire MPs have spent more than £1,500 on Facebook advertising, an investigation by this newspaper has revealed.

Figures obtained by the investigation team at JPIMedia, owners of this newspaper, show that across the country Facebook users are being targeted with thousands of adverts seeking to influence their opinion of local politics.

The figures date from October 2018 to September 7, 2019 and show the amount spent on either Facebook or Instagram.

Corby MP, Tom Pursglove spent £410.00 according to the figures. Elsewhere in Northamptonshire, Northampton South MP, Conservative Andrew Lewer, has spent £1,245.

Across the country, hundreds of individual MPs, elected officials and local authorities have placed nearly half a million pounds’ worth of promotions on the site in less than a year, we can reveal.

In the wake of 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 £6.4m nationwide 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.