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Privatisation of Channel 4 announced in Queen's Speech is ‘beyond belief,’ campaigners say

CAMPAIGNERS have blasted plans to privatise Channel 4 announced in the Queen’s Speech today.

The Media Bill, to be introduced in the new parliamentary term, pledges to “reform decades-old laws” to “offer a boost to public service broadcasters,” and also contains the contentious privatisation of Channel 4.

The proposals come as ministers face a mounting Tory rebellion in Parliament over their plans for the TV channel, which were not in the 2019 manifesto.

We Own It director Cat Hobbs said: "It is beyond belief that the government has included their plan in the Queen’s Speech after their own consultation showed that 96 per cent of people oppose this move.”

Channel 4 bosses have put forward a set of alternative plans, including promising to move 600 of the 800 staff out of London and to increase programme investment to £1 billion in order to meet the government’s so-called levelling-up agenda.

Head of broadcasting union Bectu Philippa Childs said: “This is the next step towards a disastrous privatisation of Channel 4, a much loved and entirely self-sustaining public service broadcaster.

“Pursuing plans to privatise such a successful and uniquely British institution, in the face of united industry opposition, is nothing short of cultural vandalism.”

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