The Government has begun work on new laws to force Channel 4 to relocate outside London, in an attempt to pressure the broadcaster's new chief executive Alex Mahon to agree a voluntary move soon. It is understood that Matt Hancock, the Culture Secretary, has instructed officials to do the groundwork on new legislation that could be driven through Parliament if a deal with Channel 4 is not struck. Debate over the broadcaster's future has raged for more than two and a half years . A source said the Government now wants it resolved in "weeks not months". Channel 4 is owned by taxpayers but funded commercially by advertising. The Government would need new powers to force it to move its headquarters against the wishes of its board. No decisions have been taken, but it is understood the Government is considering backing a Private Members' Bill already proposed by Conservative backbencher Jack Brereton, the MP for Stoke-on-Trent South. Mr Brereton is a former assistant to the previous Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, who was a proponent of Channel 4 relocation before becoming Northern Ireland Secretary in the January reshuffle. The Government is understood to be confident that forcing the broadcaster to relocate… Read full this story
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