The UK government has reportedly spent around £2 million on its plan to privatise Channel 4, despite expectations that prime minister Rishi Sunak will drop the idea.
According to HuffPost, the figure was revealed following a parliamentary question asking how much had been spent on the plan so far tabled by Labour’s Emily Thornberry.
In a response, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport minister Julia Lopez revealed £600,000 had been spent on “staff activity, external research and advice, public consultation and stakeholder engagement” during the 2021/22 financial year.
A further £1.4 million has been spent so far in 2022/23, adds the report, bringing the total figure to £2 million.
Earlier this month, TVBEurope reported the decision to scrap privatising the broadcaster had been “signalled” to Whitehall and the media industry.
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”.