A string of cross-party MPs have blasted the government’s failure to include paid-for adverts in its upcoming online safety laws, warning of “huge financial losses” to the public.

In a joint letter to the prime minister, the Treasury Committee and the Work and Pensions Committee said fraudulent online ads were doing immense harm and urged him to include them in the online safety bill.

The bill, which was confirmed in the Queen’s Speech earlier this year, has been amended to include a crackdown on user-generated fraud online but not on the same fraud committed through a paid-for advert.

The letter comes after Boris Johnson told the Liaison Committee this month he would look again at the online harms bill if it was “in some way inadequate” at tackling online fraud.

“It is very disappointing that the government has not yet chosen to include fraudulent advertising in the Online Safety Bill,”…

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