CONSERVATIVE Party ads which included a false headline on a BBC news story have been removed by Facebook.

Fact-checking charity Full Fact found the Tories had been running Facebook adverts which linked to a BBC story and contained the headline "£14 billion pound cash boost for schools".

But the linked article – originally headlined "School spending: Multi-billion pound cash boost announced" – put the figure at £7.1bn.

A Facebook spokesperson told the BBC the advert would be kept as an example in their ad library so “people can see how our tools were misused".

They added: "We are working to put safeguards in place to ensure publishers have control over the way their headlines appear in advertisements."

Full Fact said it was possible to alter the headline of a linked news article for a Facebook advert.

The National:

Will Moy, chief executive of the charity, said: "It is wrong for the work of independent journalists to be altered in this way and misleading for readers.

"This Government has previously agreed that UK election law must be updated and that the integrity of our elections is at risk.

"With an election increasingly likely, emergency legislation is needed to ensure online campaigning and advertising is truly open and transparent, as recommended by the cross-party DCMS committee.

"Full Fact will be scrutinising the use of political advertising by all sides throughout the election campaign, and we will now be specifically looking for any other examples of independent news being misrepresented by any political advertiser."

A Conservative Party spokesman told the BBC: "It was not our intention to misrepresent by using this headline copy with the news link, where the BBC's £7bn figure is clearly displayed, but we are reviewing how our advert headlines match accompanying links."