Banking giant JP Morgan has been appointed by the Government to provide advice on Channel 4’s future following a consultation into the possible privatisation of the public broadcaster.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is understood to have approved the American investment bank to provide corporate finance advice on the broadcaster’s remit, ownership and obligations.
The appointment has not been officially confirmed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), but an announcement is expected on Wednesday.
With the public consultation into the next steps for Channel 4 only coming to an end late on Tuesday, Labour’s shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens raised concerns that the process had been a “sham”.
Tracy Brabin, the West Yorkshire mayor who has been a shadow culture secretary for Labour and made her name in acting before entering politics, issued criticism over the move.
She said the Government had brought in the “wrecking ball” before the end of the consultation.
“They could at least pretend to have read the submissions,” she said.
With only hours left before the consultation deadline Govt bring in the wrecking ball…
They could at least *pretend* to have read the submissions 🤦🏼♀️
— TracyBrabin (@TracyBrabin) September 14, 2021
The broadcaster was founded in 1982 and currently is owned by the Government and receives its funding from advertising.
But ministers launched a consultation into a potential change in ownership of the channel in July.