The culture secretary has reportedly recommended the government drop plans for the controversial privatisation of Channel 4.
Michelle Donelan is believed to have written to the prime minister, advising that there were better options available.
In a letter, seen by Global’s News Agents podcast, one proposal is to relax Channel 4’s so-called publisher status by allowing it to produce its own programmes. At present, even the flagship news programme is produced by an independent company.
The privatisation plan was originally unveiled by Donelan’s predecessor Nadine Dorries under then prime minister Boris Johnson.
The current PM Rishi Sunak was originally in favour of the plans, arguing that a privatised Channel 4 was needed to see off US streaming giants including Netflix and Amazon. However, his cabinet were concerned over the impact privatisation might have on the independent production sector.
In December, Ms Donelan told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that she was discussing other business models with the 40 year old public service broadcaster. Although it is publicly owned, Channel 4 is entirely funded by advertising and receives no money from the public purse.