POLITICS
10/12/2018 14:55 GMT

Government Shells Out Almost £100k On Facebook Ads Promoting Theresa May's Brexit Deal

But crunch vote has now been pushed back.

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Theresa May faces fresh threats to her leadership as she prepares to delay a Commons showdown on her Brexit deal

The government shelled out almost £100,000 on Facebook ads promoting Theresa May’s seemingly-doomed Brexit deal

The 11 promotions, including a video called ‘What the Brexit Deal means for you – explained in 60 seconds’, were published on both Facebook and Instagram at a total cost of £96,684. 

Other videos on the social networking sites, both owned by Mark Zuckerberg, focused on immigration, jobs and the benefits of the deal for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Facebook’s Ad Library Report showed the full amount spent on the ads between Sunday December 2 and Saturday December 8. 

It comes as the prime minister is set to cancel a Commons showdown on her deal due to take place on Tuesday amid reports she could have lost by as many as 100 votes. 

Zuckerberg has been repeatedly criticised for failing to do enough to tackle data harvesting, privacy policies and fake news on Facebook. 

He was empty-chaired by MPs on parliament’s culture, media and sport select committee, which has been investigating the impact of fake news on British democracy. 

HuffPost UK has contacted the Cabinet Office for comment.

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Mark Zuckerberg has become a controversial figure in the UK

May is due to make a statement to the Commons on Monday afternoon setting out what will happen next, with the so-called meaningful vote expected to take place at a later date. 

The PM’s address will be followed by a statement about Article 50 from Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay, following a European Court of Justice ruling which said that the UK could unilaterally pull of the EU withdrawal process. 

Reports are also emerging that the PM faces a new threat to her leadership, with letters calling for a vote of confidence in her leadership allegedly being sent to the backbench 1922 committee. 

Many Tory MPs now want May to return to Brussels to renegotiate the Northern Irish customs backstop, which has proved so controversial with the DUP and hardline Brexiteers. 

But European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said the EU would not renegotiate the withdrawal agreement.

In a press briefing, she said: “We take note of the Court of Justice judgement today on the irrevocability of Article 50.

“We have an agreement on the table which was endorsed by the European Council in its Article 50 format on the 25th November.

“As President [Jean-Claude] Juncker said, this deal is the best and only deal possible. We will not renegotiate – our position has therefore not changed and as far as we are concerned the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union on the 29th March 2019.”