Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
The four Bristol MPs wrote to Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for DCMS, last week, calling on the Government to drop its plans to privatise Channel 4.
Channel 4 is a national asset that’s loved for its bold storytelling, as seen in dramas such as It’s a Sin, This is England, and Skins. The channel is funded through investment from independent production companies and advertising revenue, meaning it has no need for public money. As historian David Olusoga puts it “Selling the broadcaster to the highest bidder would silence a vital independent voice”. The removal of its ‘not-for-profit’ status could also put its commitments to diversity and inclusion under threat.
As we say in the letter, this also represents a huge threat to the creative sector here in Bristol, after Channel 4 set up a creative hub here early last year. This investment in local independent businesses must be protected.