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Stephen Doughty: Channel 4, Council of Europe, Armed forces

It has been as busy as ever in Westminster and the constituency.

In the Commons Chamber I spoke against the privatisation of Channel 4 – another ideological Conservative Government scheme that puts investment, unique content and independent producers at risk including here in south Wales, and something many constituents have contacted me about.

I said:

“Cardiff is a huge hub for the creative industries; Channel 4, alongside other media companies, has invested in our industry locally.

“Through its public sector remit, Channel 4 has been successful in telling stories about subjects that others have not been willing to address.

“As a vice-chair of the APPG on HIV and AIDS, I particularly commend its work on ‘It’s a Sin’, which told the story of the HIV/AIDS epidemic from a British perspective.”

I also highlighted the knock-on impact of the decision, saying: “The Secretary of State keeps speaking about the broadcasting ecosystem. Crucial to that are independent production companies. Channel 4 has invested in a number of such companies in Cardiff and south Wales, so it is absolutely crucial to our creative economy. Analysis by EY suggests that her model would result in a 40% reduction in investment in that regional supply chain. Does she not accept the very real risks to those independent production companies, which are part of our broadcasting and creative infrastructure?”

I led for Labour in a Westminster Hall debate on the Council of Europe – the continent’s leading human rights organisation which advocates freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the protection of minorities. It helps its 46 member states fight corruption and terrorism, and through its constitutional experts offers legal advice to countries throughout the world.

I said: “The work of the Council of Europe has never been as critical as it is today, whether on human rights, the rule of law and democracy, or in its crucial election-monitoring role. I hope the Government will reiterate our commitment to working through the Council of Europe on these issues, because we face some deep threats across the continent and the world.”

I also joined veterans and Labour Friends of the Forces at the Labour reception for Armed Forces Week; welcomed a delegation of Ukrainian politicians to Parliament; and locally caught up with Show Racism the Red Card to hear about the excellent work they are doing across Wales; as well as attending a number of constituency events over the weekend.

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