AN OUTRAGED MP has slammed "rancid" drug dealers who advertise on Instagram and will sell cocaine to children.

Peter Kyle said county line gangs are responsible for "exploitation of children in its most pure form," often targeting pupils outside the school gates.

He spoke out after an Argus investigation found dozens of accounts offering illegal drugs including cocaine, marijuana, LSD and magic mushrooms.

Drug dealers offered our reporter, who posed as a schoolboy, grams of cocaine from £100, just seconds after they contacted them on the encrypted app Wickr.

The Labour MP for Hove and Portslade said criminals must face "the highest sentence" - he wants dealers who exploits children to get 14 years in jail.

He told The Argus: "There are several incredibly troubling aspects of this.

"The first is the fact that this entire business revolves around children so not only are they targetting children with Class A drugs but they are knowingly doing so and comfortably targeting school gates.

"Secondly, children are at the heart of delivering and transacting the drugs.

The Argus: MP Peter Kyle has fought to have a 14-year-sentence for those found guilty of exploiting children in crimeMP Peter Kyle has fought to have a 14-year-sentence for those found guilty of exploiting children in crime

"Brighton is one of the destinations for county lines, so this is criminal exploitation of children in its most pure and rancid form.

"What frightens me is that criminals understand how to exploit these vulnerabilities better than the people who are charged with keeping people safe.

"There is an incentive to go after the drugs, but there is no incentive to go after the impact on children.

"We need a criminal justice system that puts children first and whatever the crime, if it involves children, then the impact on a child's life should be the headline crime.

"It should be the crime that attracts the highest sentence and it should be a stigma that stays with the criminal for the rest of their lives."

The Argus: One of the dozens of adverts revealed by The Argus One of the dozens of adverts revealed by The Argus

Instagram is owned by Facebook, and Mr Kyle has long been outspoken about the social media giant's role in protecting children from drug-peddling adverts.

Last year, he slammed Instagram for operating in a “lawless and amoral” way.

Instagram has since deleted all of the accounts revealed by The Argus that violate their rules, which include buying, selling, trading, donating or soliciting drugs - including cannabis

The social media giant claims to have 40,000 people working on safety and security, including over 15,000 dedicated content reviewers.

A Facebook spokesman said: "We’ve removed all of the accounts flagged to us by The Argus.

"Buying and selling drugs is strictly against our rules and we use a combination of technology and human review to remove it.

"Between April and June we removed 2.3 million pieces of drug sales content, over 95 per cent before it was reported to us, and we work closely with law enforcement and youth organisations to help us continually improve.

"We’re exploring new ways to support people who search for this content in the UK, and hope to have an update soon."

Wickr has also been approached for comment.