She said: "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.”
Channel 4, which was founded in 1982, is publicly owned but makes its money through commercial operations like advertising, as MP Damian Green pointed out to her in an excruciating moment.
Nadine Dorries: Just because Channel 4 is in receipt of public money\n\nDamien Green: Channel 4 is not in receipt of license fee money\n\nNadine Dorries: And..So..Though its..Yeah and..That..\n\n#ToryShamblespic.twitter.com/J43rGNe0SW
In the last five months, Dorries has appeared to get on top of her brief enough to announce major changes to the channel. The government last night announced it will be sold, with the money from the sale being reinvested in a "creative dividend" to be shared among the TV industry.
Dorries said: "Channel 4 rightly holds a cherished place in British life and I want that to remain the case. I have come to the conclusion that government ownership is holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.
"A change of ownership will give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public service broadcaster long into the future."