Channel 4 privatisation being dropped from the Government’s Media Bill will be “the best birthday present for the 40-year-old Channel”, said Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

Number 10 has signalled that proposed sale championed by both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak during the Tory leadership contest in the summer could be quietly dropped.

“That’s a U-turn I can get behind”, said Mayor Norris. “After 40 successful years of public ownership for Channel 4, there has never been any need to sell it off to the highest bidder. I hope the unnecessary and unpopular Channel 4 sale plans which put West of England jobs at risk will finally end up in the bin where they belong”.

The Mayor has campaigned against the sale since it was first proposed and recently visited the Channel 4 Bristol Hub with fellow metro mayor and former Corrie actor Tracy Brabin. Today he called on the government to give “every support” to the broadcaster to implement their alternative plan to privatisation. This could involve almost doubling the number of staff working in the Channel 4 Bristol Hub, with thousands more in the region’s wider creative sector.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with Channel 4 in the fight to keep the broadcaster public and keep it in Bristol. The plan to sell off Channel 4 to the highest bidder was always economic and cultural vandalism and an attempt to undermine public service broadcasting – and the knock-on effects to our region’s amazing creative sector concerned me greatly”.

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