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Nadine Dorries will decide Channel 4’s future. She doesn’t even know how it’s funded.

Nadine Dorries appears at the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Select Committee

In amongst all the Boris Johnson chaos, a second contender for political dummy of the week emerged, although it’s been little reported in the mainstream media.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, at the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports select committee, told MPs that in weighing up the future of Channel 4, (which it is widely assumed will be privatised by this government under plans set out by Dorries’ predecessor John Whittingdale) that since C4 received public funds, it was her job to make sure taxpayers’ got value for money.

After a brief tumbleweed moment, committee member Damian Green pointed out to her that she was talking nonsense: C4 gets no public money. The channel is owned by the public, but is entirely commercial in its funding.

Dorries looked aghast, turning to her permanent private secretary Sarah Healey for a bit of spluttering and made a very half-arsed recovery in which she told Green she had meant that C4 did actually receive funds from the public, presumably because it was the public that bought the stuff from the advertisers who actually fund Channel 4.


Dorries is, I’m told, the one thing that unites the Tory Party in Westminster: Nobody thinks she’s up to the job.

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