Karin Smyth MP condemns Government decision to privatise Channel 4 as jobs are put at risk

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has condemned the Tory Government decision to privatise Channel 4 as jobs and opportunities across the South West are put at risk.

The Tory Government announced on Monday that it was going ahead with plans to privatise the broadcaster, which is state-owned but receives no public funding, despite a public consultation returning over 60,000 submissions raising significant public concerns.

Privatising the broadcaster will put it in competition with other streaming giants such as Netflix and Amazon and risks giving independent production companies less funding and creative opportunities. 

Bristol is a hub of media production companies, actors and associated businesses. The privatisation of Channel 4 will throw their drive for regional productions and investment into the south west of England into turmoil. This will harm Bristol’s vibrant culture economy and level down opportunities in media for future generations.

Karin Smyth MP, MP for Bristol South, said: 

“Channel 4 is an asset to Britain, at the forefront of innovative journalism and giving independent writers and new talent a platform.  It doesn’t cost the taxpayer a penny, yet the Tory Government are risking cultural vandalism by selling it to what will likely be a foreign company. It is clear the Tory Government is pursuing this to make a quick buck.

“Whilst the Tory Government should be focusing on the cost of living crisis, supporting people with their bills and tackling soaring food and energy prices, they are instead shamelessly targeting publicly owned institutions for ideological reasons that will do nothing to benefit the public.

“This decision could cost jobs and opportunities across the country, including here in Bristol, and hit our creative economy hard.  I will stand up against this Tory Government decision and continue to back our creative sectors.”