Nadine Dorries ridiculed for claiming incorrectly that Channel 4 receives ‘public money’

It’s quite worrying that the minister who will decide Channel 4's future doesn't even know how it's funded.

Nadine Dorries

The culture secretary Nadine Dorries has been ridiculed after claiming that Channel 4 is in receipt of public money and therefore it was her job to make sure taxpayers got value for money.

The embarrassing moment came when the culture secretary appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports select committee, where she was discussing the future of Channel 4.

She told the committee: “I would argue that to say that just because Channel 4’s been established as a public service broadcaster and just because it’s in receipt of public money we should never audit the future of Channel 4 and we should never evaluate how Channel 4 looks in the future and whether or not it’s a sustainable and viable model. It’s quite right that the government should do that.”

Committee member Damian Green then replied and said that Channel 4 was not like the BBC as it does not receive licence fee money and makes its money from commercial operations.

A rather startled looking Dorries replied: “and..So..Though its..Yeah and..That..”

It’s quite worrying that the minister who will decide Channel 4’s future doesn’t even know how it’s funded.

One social media user wrote: “Nadine Dorries tells @CommonsDCMS Channel 4’s future should be ‘brought into question, particularly when it is in receipt of taxpayers’ money. It is our responsibility to evaluate whether taxpayers are receiving value for money’. Channel 4 receives no taxpayers’ money.”

Another wrote: “Interesting… Nadine Dorries, who receives taxpayers’ money and ought to be across simple detail, questions whether Channel 4, which doesn’t receive taxpayers’ money, is providing taxpayers with value for money.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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