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MP Richard Thomson welcomes UK Government's second thoughts on privatisation of Channel 4

By Kirsty Brown

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Gordon MP Richard Thomson has welcomed reports that the UK Government is ‘re-examining’ the case for privatising Channel 4.

The privatisation plans had previously been likened to taking a wrecking ball through the country’s broadcasting and production sector according to an industry expert.

Chief executive of the Producers Alliance For Cinema And Television John McVay told Holyrood’s Culture committee that the plans to sell Channel 4 would cost the economy £4,200,000,000, with knock-on effects on Scotland’s thriving production sector.

He described the plans as a ‘disaster’ for Scotland’s creative sector and that opportunities for new talent and firms to be set up will be ‘diminished’ because Channel 4 is a ‘key incubator’ for new talent.

Commenting, Mr Thomson said: “Channel 4 is an integral and critical part of the sector, providing independent broadcasting companies a platform they would not otherwise have.

"Without it their opportunities will be vastly reduced and talent will be lost.

“Channel 4 also provides a platform for voices and faces we would not normally see on our screen, vital in ensuring better representation across the country.

“While this change in direction is very welcome, we cannot trust the Westminster Government to protect the future of Scotland’s vital cultural and creative sector.

"The only way to protect its future is by devolving those powers to the Scottish Parliament.”

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