U.K. Prime Ministerial Candidate Rishi Sunak to Go Ahead With Channel 4 Privatization: ‘Standing Still is Not an Option’

Former U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who is one of the two candidates in the British prime ministerial race, has vowed to go ahead with the privatization of broadcaster Channel 4.

In a statement shared with U.K. media on Thursday, a spokesperson for Sunak said: ‘Rishi will take forward Channel 4’s privatization. Channel 4 is a crucial part of British broadcasting and supports our brilliant creative industries, but a lot has changed since the 1980s when it was set up to provide viewers with more choice.

“Privatization will help Channel 4 to thrive in an age where they are also competing with Netflix, Amazon, Apple and many more — standing still is not an option,” the spokesperson added.

In April, the U.K. government decided to press forward with the privatization process, despite significant opposition from the U.K. media industry. The process has been paused due to the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The other PM candidate, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, is also believed to be a supporter of privatization. While she has not yet expressed a view on the matter, one of her staunchest supporters is Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, one of the foremost proponents of privatization.

Meanwhile, a Channel 4 news investigation has uncovered new details about Sunak’s education, property and financial dealings and has raised questions about whether his hedge fund paid him with assets in offshore tax havens. Sunak’s supporters describe his background as modest and humble.

On July 25, Sunak and Truss will face off in a live TV debate on the BBC. Meanwhile, a debate on Sky News, which was previously canceled because both candidates declined to participate, has now been rescheduled for Aug. 4 with the participation of both.

The leadership contest will be decided by a national vote of the Conservative Party ballot membership with the result due by Sept. 5. The winner will be sworn in as U.K. Prime Minister.