In the full 2015/16 financial year, government spending on advertising in the Evening Standard newspaper totalled £297,037 (spending on print advertising and digital advertising where it was bought directly). This equated to approximately 0.22% of all media buying for government advertising in that financial year.
I am aware of the comments that the Hon. Member has made in the media on the appointment of the new editor of the Evening Standard. I would note that any spending on advertising is in line with the Government Communication Service’s Propriety Guidance. In addition, departmental Accounting Officers have a particular responsibility for the propriety of using public resources for advertising, as well as for the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of their use. The resources employed should be proportional to the objectives or policy of the programme involved and justifiable on value-for-money grounds. I believe this provides an appropriate system of checks to avoid any conflict of interest and ensure taxpayers’ money is properly spent.