Plans to privatise UK broadcaster Channel 4 are in doubt following the collapse of Boris Johnson’s government.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the sale of Channel 4 now has a ’50-50’ chance of surviving after a new Conservative Party leader is chosen, citing widespread opposition among the party.
“The debate is back on the table and when a new secretary of state comes in, they will want to review everything … Everything is in a holding pattern at the moment,” a Whitehall source told The Daily Telegraph.
The Guardian reported that Andrew Griffith, a key Boris Johnson aide, was seen as the main driver of the policy along with culture secretary Nadine Dorries. Both are expected to lose their jobs when Johnson steps down.
Detailed proposals to sell the broadcaster were due to be published next week.
A new Conservative prime minister will have to decide whether they want to continue with plans for Channel 4 privatisation. Several Tory leadership candidates have previously expressed doubt over the sell-off plan, including Jeremy Hunt and Tom Tugendhat.
Many MPs also view privatisation of the broadcaster as a low-priority issue.
Channel 4 is publicly owned but funded by advertising.
In May, Channel 4 published its own proposals for an alternative to privatisation under the title 4: The Next Episode.
The channel said its plan would contribute around £11bn to the UK economy every year and create 13,000 jobs, arguing that those numbers would be lower under privatisation, at around £8-10bn and 9,000-11,500 jobs.
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