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Tories issue licence threat to Channel 4

November 29, 2019

A row has kicked-off between the Tory Party and UK commercial PSB Channel 4, with the Tories accusing the broadcaster of ‘conspiring’ with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to block them from a TV leaders’ debate in the run-up to the December 12th General Election.

PM Boris Johnson was accused of ‘running scared’ when he did not join the other party leaders, with fellow Conservative Michael Gove turning up and asking if he could stand in for Johnson, before being turned away because he is not a leader.

Instead an ice sculpture was used in Johnson’s place during the debate, which led to the party making a formal complaint to Ofcom’s election committee.

A Tory source, speaking to the Daily Telegraph, said: “If we are re-elected we will have to review Channel 4’s public service broadcasting obligations”.

Channel 4’s current licence runs until the end of 2024, meaning it would need renewing under any new government if the next parliament lasts a full five years. While media watchdog Ofcom is tasked with reviewing the channel’s output, Channel 4 is state-owned and its existence is underpinned by legislation that could be changed by parliament.

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