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Channel 4 privatisation ‘will be scrapped’

Former PM Boris Johnson's plan is said to be unpopular with parts of the Conservative party

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak is reportedly planning to scrap plans to privatise broadcaster Channel 4.

According to the Financial Times, the decision has been “signalled” to Whitehall and the media industry.

In September culture secretary Michelle Donelan, who has retained her position in Sunak’s cabinet, said Liz Truss’s government was re-examining the business case for selling off the broadcaster.

The FT report quotes a senior Conservative as saying Boris Johnson’s plan to privatise Channel 4 is unpopular with the parts of the party, and the upcoming Media Bill can be “pushed through without it”.

Former culture secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed the then government wanted to sell off the broadcaster in April of this year, claiming that  “government ownership is holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon”.

That decision was hit with a huge backlash across the media industry, with the likes of Armando Iannucci, senior MPs and unions representing 120,000 UK creative workers speaking out against the plans.

The news comes in the week Channel 4 marks its 40th anniversary.