DEFRA has increased the amount it spends on advertising by 1400% over the past three years.

Hilary Benn’s department has splashed out £8m on adverts last year, up from £570,000 in 2005.

Just two years earlier the department’s budget was just £5500, information obtained in a freedom of information request by the Metro found.

A DEFRA spokesman defended the increase and said it was the government’s responsibility to explains its policies and give people information.

“For DEFRA, the recent increase in advertising spend has primarily been as a result of leading the cross-government Act on CO2 campaign,” he said.

“This is designed to increase consumer literacy about climate change and give them advice on how to cut greenhouse gas emissions by saving energy and money.”