INSTAGRAM has banned several accounts advertising Class A drugs after an Argus investigation found dozens of drug dealers using the site.

After being contacted about criminals brazenly advertising kilos of drugs, the social media giant removed several profiles for breaking their rules.

The company - owned by Facebook - claims its technology can detect content that includes images of drugs, as well as indications of an intention to sell.

However, during an investigation The Argus discovered dozens of accounts advertising cocaine, marijuana, LSD and magic mushrooms.

Images of white powders, pills and cannabis were visible after a simple search on the popular social media platform.

This comes just days after Boris Johnson insisted new internet safety laws will impose "criminal sanctions with tough sentences" on those responsible for allowing "foul content" on their platforms.

The Prime Minister sounded the warning to social media giants as he told MPs the Online Harms Bill will make progress in the Commons before Christmas.

Facebook says it has more than 40,000 people working on safety and security, including at least 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."

New legislation is expected to force the biggest tech firms, such as Facebook and Google, to abide by a duty of care to users, overseen by Ofcom as the new regulator for the sector.

Mr Johnson was pushed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to use the "inescapable desire" of MPs, in the aftermath of the killing of Conservative Sir David Amess, to "clamp down on the extremism, the hate and the abuse that festers online".

But Sir Keir said closing down anonymous accounts would not have "saved Sir David" nor prevented other attacks, adding "arrogant" social media firms should be made to take responsibility for their platforms.

The pair agreed to work together on the issue when it was raised at Prime Minister's Questions.