Channel 4 Not Being Privatised…For Now
Rishi Sunak set to backtrack on C4 privatisation plans.
In news well received by many in the UK creative sector, it looks like Channel 4 will no longer be privatised imminently. A senior Conservative told the Financial Times:
It’s likely that the government will want to quietly drop privatisation. It’s unpopular with some parts of the party, has a huge impact on our creative sector and the media bill can be pushed through without including it.
The likes of development minister Andrew Mitchell and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had already publicly expressed some reservations about the privatisation, which was proposed when Boris Johnson was Prime Minister.
Sunak had previously indicated support for the privatisation when running to be Conservative leader. However, amidst a number of u-turns since he entered No.10 Downing Street, the FT reported that the Prime Minister’s official spokesperson explained that the government is “looking at all the campaign pledges and we are looking at whether it is the right time to take them forward.”
Commenting on the apparent about-turn, Philippa Childs, Head of Bectu, the trade union that represents many in the creative industries, told The Addition:
If reports in the FT today prove to be true, Bectu welcomes the intervention from Rishi Sunak. Ninty-six percent of respondents to the Government’s consultation opposed the sale. As it celebrates its 40th birthday, C4 continues to be hugely successful and an integral part of the UK’s public service broadcasting infrastructure.
[More insight from Childs behind the paywall]