A new disastrous Nadine Dorries interview just dropped

A new disastrous Nadine Dorries interview just dropped
Nadine Dorries wants to give you better internet so you can 'downstream' ...
Dr Luke Evans MP, TikTok

We’re afraid to say, Nadine Dorries is at it again.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has blundered her way through another interview, after claiming that Channel 5 was privatised a few years ago.

In fact, it was always a private company and never owned by the government.

It’s been a busy week for Dorries, what with promising everyone fast internet so they can “downstream” films, and copying Boris Johnson’s message of support for Angela Rayner.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

But this latest attempt to sell the benefits of privatising Channel 4 might be the worst of them – as she got it wrong again when it came to discussing finance models.

Speaking to LBC on Thursday, Dorries said: “Can I say who’s done that really well, since they were privatised a small number of years ago… Channel 5.

“If you look at the amount of investment into the regions and how well Channel 5 has done since it’s been privatised… I call Channel 5 the levelling up broadcaster. That is a model for how broadcasting can work.”

That’s all well and good, but as social media users have been pointing out, Channel 5 has always been a private business since it was launched 25 years ago, and it was never owned by the government.

Dorries is at it againLeon Neal/Getty Images

She’s got form on this, too. Let’s not forget that Dorries was called out last year after failing to understand how Channel 4 was funded during a select committee hearing.

Reacting to her latest car crash interview on Twitter, journalist Benjamin Cohen wrote: “I love how @NadineDorries justifies privatising Channel 4 by claiming that Channel 5 was privatised 3 to 5 years ago.

“Channel 5 launched in 1997 as a private business as a result of a franchise auction but I guess you couldn’t expect the Culture Secretary to know this.”

He added: “What I think @NadineDorries is referring to is that in 2014, Richard Desmond sold Channel 5 to Viacom, (now called Paramount), a US broadcaster, which I guess is the model she is looking to with Channel 4- for it to be US owned.”

Dorries recently attempted to clarify her comments, writing on Twitter in response to Cohen: “Yes, I misspoke- it was 2014 when Viacom bought C5 - a public service broadcaster - resulting in increased private investment, not a few years ago!
“However, the substance of my point remains exactly the same. But, you nit pick away if that’s what makes you really happy.”

However, she failed to acknowledge that Channel 5 had never been publicly owned.

It comes after Dorries vowed to press ahead with plans to privatise Channel 4, while also hitting out at the “completely outdated” BBC licence fee model.

The culture secretary published a broadcasting white paper confirming the government’s intentions to sell-off C4 on Thursday.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)