Statement from the Mayor of West Yorkshire in relation to the privatisation of Channel 4 and the government White Paper on the broadcasting industry

Following the urgent question in Parliament today (27 Apr) by Lucy Powell, MP, and the statement by the DCMS Minister Julia Lopez MP, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, has given her reaction.

Following the urgent question in Parliament today by Lucy Powell, MP, and the statement by the DCMS Minister Julia Lopez MP, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: 

“There are many compelling reasons for Channel 4 to remain in public hands and in Parliament today, we saw the Government’s own MPs and senior Conservative politicians backing these.

“In recent weeks, we’ve heard voices from across the political spectrum united with industry experts, all stressing that the economic argument for privatisation just doesn’t stand up. Channel 4 is a commercial success and costs the taxpayer nothing. It has a highly robust financial position and last reported an annual surplus of £74 million.

“Channel 4 is not only a creative powerhouse but also an engine for economic growth, driving an ecosystem of new businesses and jobs. It boosts skills in the broadcasting sector and stimulates growth for us all.

“The broadcaster’s decision to bring its headquarters to Leeds created 200 jobs and brought a wealth of investment into our incredible creative sector. But it also ignited a spark that went beyond the West Yorkshire borders.

“We saw some of the UK’s largest independent producers expanding their presence, alongside new production and studio facilities, plus significant financial support from the public sector.

“And this experience has been replicated in Bristol and Glasgow, truly levelling up in action.

“We know that the big streaming services see public sector broadcasting, and Channel 4, not as a challenger, but as a necessary part of the whole ecosystem and a seedbed for talent.

“And as recent news about Netflix loss of subscribers has shown, the business model of these pay-per-view streaming services also has its challenges.

“Channel 4 is owned by every one of us. It should not be privatised, and I’ll continue to make the case for it to remain in public hands.”

Channel 4 is owned by every one of us. It should not be privatised, and I’ll continue to make the case for it to remain in public hands.

Tracy Brabin Mayor of West Yorkshire

You might also be interested in