Tesco faces an investigation by Trading Standards officers after being accused of raising the price of fruit and vegetables before offering them half price.

The retailer has been running a Fruit and Veg Pledge since the beginning of the year where selected fruit and vegetables are offered half-price.

Tesco confirmed apples, peaches, nectarines and plums had all increased in price in December before being reduced in the first week of the Fruit and Veg Pledge promotion. “Any suggestion that we ramp up prices in order to cut them again is the purest nonsense,” a spokeswoman added.