Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Many Conservatives are questioning proposed sale of Channel 4, ex-minister says

(Lewis Whyld/PA)
(Lewis Whyld/PA)

There are “many” within the Conservative Party who are questioning whether privatising Channel 4 would be the correct course of action, a former minister has said.

Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell said the issue should not be characterised as a “Tories versus Channel 4 debate”.

Speaking in a Westminster Hall debate on the potential sale of the broadcaster, he told Labour’s Angela Eagle she “must reflect that these are Government proposals and there are many of us within the Conservative Party who are questioning them in the same way as she is”.

Conservative leadership bid
Andrew Mitchell (Isabel Infantes/PA)

The Government is currently consulting on plans to privatise Channel 4.

The channel, which was founded in 1982 to deliver to under-served audiences, is owned by the Government and receives its funding from advertising.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said the decision to review Channel 4’s ownership structure had been taken because the changing media landscape posed a serious threat to traditional linear broadcasters.

Media minister John Whittingdale told the debate: “When Channel 4 was created, there was a choice of the BBC or ITV.

“It was founded in 1982 by a Conservative government to provide alternative viewpoints and it has been very successful in that.”

Channel 4 new HQ
(Victoria Jones/PA)

He added: “There has been a huge explosion in the range of choice and some of that content, which originally was not available and Channel 4 was set up to provide, is now available in a large number of different places, and so Channel 4 does need to adapt to that.”

Channel 4 chairman Charles Gurassa has previously warned the Government against going down the “high-risk and damaging path” of privatising the broadcaster.

In a letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, seen by the PA news agency, he said the Government risks “sleepwalking into the irreversible and risky sale of an important, successful and much-loved British institution”.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]