Universal Credit ads from the Department of Work and Pensions – where Justin Tomlinson was appointed minister of state in April – have been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

In the adverts, praise was levelled at Universal Credit and aimed to ‘bust’ negative myths around the scheme.

But the ASA found the ads misleading and that a claim that people on Universal Credit moved into work faster than the old system could not be substantiated.

The adverts ran in print and online in the Metro and the MailOnline in May and June this year.

Mr Tomlinson, preparing to defend the North Swindon seat in next month's general election, was approached for comment and passed on a statement from the department.

It said: “We are disappointed with the decision and have responded to the Advertising Standards Authority.

“We consulted at length with the ASA as we created the adverts, which have explained to hundreds of thousands of people how Universal Credit is helping more than 2.5 million people across the country”

The adverts were part of a campaign that cost the DWP £225,000 and was aimed at raising the profile of much-criticised Universal Credit.

The ASA received 44 complaints about the ads, including from charities such as Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Disability Benefits Consortium.

On the ASA’s findings, it said: “We told the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that they held adequate evidence to substantiate the claims in their advertising, to include significant conditions, and to present significant conditions clearly.”