Senior Tory MP says Channel 4 privatisation could be politically motivated 2 months ago

Senior Tory MP says Channel 4 privatisation could be politically motivated

One of Boris Johnson's own backbenchers asked 'is this being done for revenge'

Senior Tory MP Julian Knight has said the government's late-night decision to privatise broadcaster Channel 4 could be politically motivated.

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Writing on Twitter, Knight asked his followers to address the "elephant in the room" and question whether this is "being done for revenge for Chanel 4's biased coverage of the likes of Brexit and personal attacks on the PM".

"The timing of the announcement 7 pm [sic], coinciding with Channel 4 news, was very telling," the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee wrote.

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In recent years, the channel's flagship news programme has been branded left-wing and accused of "tory-bashing".

Tory MP Craig Mackinlay had even suggested Channel 4 should be punished for its alleged bias, telling MailOnline last year that it had "sealed its own fate" with years of "one-sided" news coverage.

The contentious decision to sell off the public-owned broadcaster, announced late on Sunday evening, has sparked outrage amongst several top Tories.

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Former Scottish Tory leader Baroness Davidson said that Channel 4 is “publicly owned, not publicly funded” and “doesn’t cost the tax payer a penny”.

“This is the opposite of levelling up,” she said, arguing Channel 4 had created a thriving media centre outside of London.

Former cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt told Sky News, “I’m not in favour of it,” and added that he had never considered privatising the channel during his time as culture secretary.

Meanwhile, former Secretary of State Damian Green warned that Margaret Thatcher, who created it, never made the mistake of taking the channel out of public ownership, and described the idea as “very unconservative”.

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