London Daily

Focus on the big picture.

Plans to privatise Channel 4 to be scrapped by Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan, reports suggest

Plans to privatise Channel 4 to be scrapped by Culture Secretary Michelle Donelan, reports suggest

The government faced heavy criticism - including from senior members of its own party and the British media industry - over the announcement last April that Channel 4 would be privatised.
The Culture Secretary has written to Rishi Sunak recommending the government drops its plans to privatise Channel 4, according to reports.

Michelle Donelan's predecessor Nadine Dorries announced the decision to take the broadcaster out of public ownership during former PM Boris Johnson's premiership.

When Ms Dorries announced the plans, she said it was so the broadcaster can better survive in a media landscape dominated by the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

Ms Donelan, who was appointed culture secretary by Liz Truss and remained in the role after Mr Sunak took over as prime minister, had previously cast doubt on plans to privatise the broadcaster.

She had said she was re-examining the "business case" to make sure "we still agree with that decision".

But a leaked letter written by Ms Donelan to Mr Sunak, seen by The News Agents podcast on Wednesday, allegedly reveals the culture secretary looks set to scrap the policy.

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: "We do not comment on speculation.

"The DCMS secretary of state has been clear that we are looking again at the business case for the sale of Channel 4. We will announce more on our plans in due course."

Channel 4 was created in 1982 by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government and is entirely funded by advertising, out of public ownership. Everything it airs is commissioned from external production companies.

Former culture secretary Ms Dorries criticised the reported move, tweeting: "Three years of a progressive Tory government being washed down the drain. Levelling up, dumped. Social care reform, dumped. Keeping young and vulnerable people safe online, watered down.

"A bonfire of EU leg, not happening. Sale of C4 giving back £2b reversed. Replaced with what?

"A policy at some time in the future to teach maths for longer with teachers we don't yet even have to do so. Where is the mandate - who voted for this?

"Will now be almost impossible to face the electorate at a GE and expect voters to believe or trust our manifesto commitments."

But other Conservative MPs and members of the opposition parties have praised the apparent change of policy.

Former Tory minister Stephen Hammond said: "I have always thought that its commercial future can be more sustainably secured by a new mandate within the current model," he posted on social media.

"This decision will ensure the independent UK production industry will continue to thrive and prosper."

While fellow senior Conservative Simon Hoare added: "A welcome and excellent decision/recommendation by Michelle Donelan: If it ain't broke; don't fix it!"

Shadow culture secretary Lucy Powell said: "The Conservatives' vendetta against Channel 4 was always wrong for Britain, growth in our creative economy, and a complete waste of everyone's time.

"Our broadcasting and creative industries lead the world, yet this government has hamstrung them for the last year with the total distraction of Channel 4 privatisation.

"Labour opposed this sell off, and took a strong stand against it.

"The government must now bring forward the Media Bill to protect and promote Britain's broadcasters in the streaming age."

Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone added that the plans to sell off Channel 4 were "nothing more than a culture war waged by a rash and reckless cabinet".
Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
0:00
0:00
Close
Homeless Man Turns in Wallet with 2,000 Euros at Amsterdam Station
Apple Faces EU Charges Over Digital Markets Act Violation
Macron Warns of Civil War Risk as French Elections Approach
Julian Assange Freed After US Plea Deal
Chaotic Portugal Win Over Turkey at Euro 2024
Global Headlines: Hajj Heatwave Tragedy, Flynn's Family Enterprise, and Rising Geopolitical Tensions
Political Shifts in France, Legal Battles in the UK, and Public Protests in Israel
UK's Richest Family Convicted for Exploiting Servants
Hollande Declares End to Macron’s Political Ascendancy
Hindujas Appeal Swiss Court's Human Trafficking Verdict
Prince William Celebrates Birthday at Taylor Swift Concert
Singapore to Implement Screen Time Regulations for Children
Hello and welcome back. Here we are with your latest news update from around the world.
Hello and welcome back. Here are today's top stories from around the world, you don't want to miss:
UK PM Sunak and the Election Betting Scandal
Climate Activists Target Taylor Swift's Private Jet in UK
United States Bans Kaspersky Antivirus
US to Supply Taiwan with Suicide Drones Amid Rising Tensions with China
Bodyguard of UK Prime Minister Arrested for Alleged Election Betting
Global Displacement Crisis: Record Numbers in 2023
Muslim Community Leader Criticizes Nigel Farage for Undermining Muslims
Melinda Gates Discusses 'Horrible' Divorce from Bill Gates
Child Obesity Surge in England: A Deep Concern
U.S. Sues Adobe Over Hard-to-Cancel Subscriptions
Deadly Heat Wave Claims Dozens of Lives During Hajj Pilgrimage in Mecca
Here are today's top worldwide stories you don’t want to miss:.
World’s Largest Pilot Union Calls to Eliminate Terms Like ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Manpower’ for Equity
Woman Suing UK Intel Services Denies China Spy Allegations
Iran Sentences Nobel Laureate Narges Mohammadi to 1-Year Prison Term for Propaganda
News roundup
Good day, everyone! We've got some gripping stories for you today, spanning from the Middle East to Europe, and even a touch of Hollywood.
Britain’s Refugee Visa Rules Stranding Children in War Zones
UK Elections Predict ‘Electoral Extinction’ for PM Sunak’s Conservative Party
Italian Activist Ilaria Salis Returns Home After Election to European Parliament
Good morning!
England Faces Serbia in Euro Opener with Defensive Concerns
Dermatologist Warns Against Sunbed Usage
Fake Pro-Reform UK Social Accounts and Their Influence on Elections
UK Man Jailed for Non-Consensual Condom Removal
Reform UK Surpasses Conservatives in Historic Poll
US, Britain, Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova’s Election
Taylor Swift Fans Create Seismic Activity in Edinburgh
Sunak Aide Under Investigation for Election Bet
Labour Leader Starmer Focuses on Wealth Creation for Upcoming UK Elections
G7 to Use Frozen Russian Assets for $50 Billion Ukraine Aid
Anti-Israel Irish MEP Clare Daly LOST her seat in the EU Election
Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Safety Claims for $700 Million
EU Urged to Welcome Skilled Russians to Weaken Putin
EU Elections Overview: Far-Right Gains and Major Political Shifts
Israel Rescues Four Hostages from Gaza
×