Dear Sir David,
I am writing to raise concerns over the misrepresentation of official statistics from the results of the
Consultation on a change of ownership of Channel 4 Television Corporation by the Secretary of State
for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), Nadine Dorries MP.
The Government’s response to the consultation on a potential change of ownership of Channel 4
Television Corporation was published on 28th April 2022. Question 1 of the consultation asked: “Do
you agree that there are challenges in the current TV broadcasting market that present barriers to a
sustainable Channel 4 in public ownership?”
The report states that: “Of the 55,737 responses received in total from individuals to this question,
96% (53,426) said no, whilst 2% (995) agreed”.
Just days later, during an appearance by Nadine Dorries MP at the Commons Digital, Culture, Media
and Sport committee on Thursday 19th May 2022 this figure was misquoted.
When questioned by John Nicolson MP who asked: “You conducted a privatisation consultation that
generated a very impressive 56,293 responses according to the White Paper. What percentage of
those responses supported privatisation?”
The Secretary of State incorrectly replied that “I think the figure was about 96%”
The response was a gross misrepresentation of the outcome of the Government’s own consultation.
And as you have previously stated when politicians use figures that do not reflect reality, it can lead
to pressure for policies that are not supported by the data – and that would not be desirable.
The future of Channel 4 is an emotive issue and it is crucial for public trust and understanding that
statistics are used accurately and not misrepresented. I therefore ask that you investigate the
statements made by Nadine Dorries MP in relation to Channel 4 and offer your guidance on whether
it is misleading.
Jamie Stone MP
Liberal Democrat Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Spokesperson