Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston has written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, on behalf of local residents who are concerned about the department’s recent consultation to privatise Channel 4.
In her letter to the Government, Preet said that the channel “is central to the British film and television industry” and that the home of television favourites, such as the Great British Bake Off and Gogglebox, invests £943 million into the UK’s production sector creating thousands of jobs across the country.
Channel 4, which does not take a single penny from the taxpayer’s purse, is commercially-funded through advertising revenue and unlike streaming giants, such as Netflix and Amazon, is also publicly owned. They have the youngest-skewing public service channel in the UK, reaching more 16-34 year-olds than any other commercial broadcaster in streaming and TV.
The channel’s current affairs output has been a major thorn in the side of the government, with the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, refusing to appear on Channel 4 news during the 2019 General Election debate and ever since to avoid scrutiny.
The government announced the consultation into the future of Channel 4 in July, this year, with their “preferred option” to privatise the company. This comes, despite warnings from Channel 4, that privatisation could shut up to 60 production companies and cut up to 1,300 jobs across the UK.
Read Preet’s full letter here