My Intervention on the Telegraph Media Group: Proposed Sale to RedBird IMI

John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con)

As owners expect to have influence over editors and the editorial line, why do we not have a policy of ruling out all Government ownership of such organisations, which would make it much simpler?

Julia Lopez, (Minister for Media, Tourism and Creative Industries):

I thank my right hon. Friend for making that simple point. It is one that I am sure will be considered once this case has passed.


  1. Lifelogic
    January 31, 2024

    It bad enough having misguided organisations like Ofcom controlling much of the media. How many extra people (who had no need to Covid Vaccines were injured due to the idiotic line Ofcom, the Government and most of the UK media took? How much are they and the various government experts and Health England responsible for the current MMR vaccines hesitancy which may now kill even more people?

    Nearly 53,000 more people died in 2023 than normal almost certainly most were caused by the Covid Vaccines – the highest figure recorded in a non-pandemic year since the Second World War. Deaths still way up in 2024 too – mainly cardio-vascular.

  2. glen cullen
    January 31, 2024

    SirJ I fully agree with your suggestion

  3. Lifelogic
    January 31, 2024

    But then can not any government lend to someone or some group of people who then buys them and exerts control anyway. The BBC is clearly a left wing, climate alarmist, state propaganda outfit and it needs to have it tax payer, anti-competitive funding stopped. But the Tories failed on that too.

  4. Bloke
    January 31, 2024

    SJR’s important point needs action BEFORE such a sale takes place, not just ‘consideration’ later.

    1. formula57
      February 1, 2024

      @ Bloke – indeed, for where is the merit in waiting for the horse to bolt before shutting the stable door?

  5. Nigl
    January 31, 2024

    As if the Telegraph is read by/ important to that many people so who cares? It’s a Tory paper hence the faux outrage from their MPs afraid they might lose the PR it gives them.

    No complaints about Murdoch then, oh yes I forgot he is right leaning so that’s all right. Everyone who contributes to this blog could set out a litany of threats to this country that MPs/HMG say nothing about. Vast numbers of Chinese students for instance. Ah, but we need their money, so that’s all right then.

    I see no difference in them publishing your spinners, anonymous sources, friends of Ministers ‘leaks to lies’,and all in between from editorials influenced from elsewhere.

    The breathtaking double standards evoke no sympathy from me.

    Saints preserve us from interfering politicians.

  6. Richard1
    January 31, 2024

    Dead right. No government should be permitted to own a media organisation in the U.K. perhaps this should also apply to the U.K. govt? Privatise channel 4 by auction immediately and distribute shares in the BBC to license holders as a policy for the election manifesto – there will be a good few votes in that. And it will open up a good dividing line with the left who will hate the idea.

  7. Sakara Gold
    January 31, 2024

    Indeed – so why is it that the prospect of the sale of the Telegraph and Spectator newspapers has attracted the attention of the culture secretary, who has ordered the media regulator to investigate?

    The current “owners” acquired the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator in 2004, but Lloyds Bank took control of the titles in June 2023 – after failing to reach an agreement over more than £1bn in unpaid debt. The Telegraph has never made a profit since it was last sold and indeed, is now given away free to customers of Waitrose, the upmarket grocery chain

    When strategic assets such as Arm Holdings, the once-British chip designer, or Cobham, the British defence contractor are sold off on the nod from regulators, nobody in the Establishment objected. Why the angst over the prospect of the UAE, a British ally once known as the Trucial States, buying these newspapers?

    Clearly, the prospect by those on the right of the political spectrum of losing editorial control of a newspaper that has undertaken a relentless and prolonged anti-EV, anti-renewable energy, pro-fossil fuel stance is of concern.

    Time to put up or shut up. The bank only wants it’s £1bn debt cleared.

  8. Peter
    January 31, 2024

    Why stop at newspapers?

    What about foreign ownership of other important areas of the country? At least I can always read a different newspaper if I choose.

    Politicians have been happy enough to flog off vast tranches to overseas interests – public utilities, railways, etc, etc. These are far more important than ‘The Daily Telegraph’ in my opinion.

  9. Lifelogic
    January 31, 2024

    Insolvencies at 30 years high. So why might that be? Perhaps a doubling of interest rates, vast tax increases, an ever larger government, high living wages by law, endless new red tape, rip off intermittent net zero energy, the road blocking vandalism programme, council tax increases, an NHS that does not work like most public services, large student loans for largely worthless degrees, inflation at double the target, banks ripping us of with huge margins and fees and the people paying people (often the same or more) not to work, vast and still increasing tax rates. Also loads of companies undercut by illegal cash in hard working and boat people working from free hotels.

    Might these be the reasons they struggle Sunak & Hunt? Then we have all the Covid vaccine injured and dead the government has arranged.

  10. Lifelogic
    January 31, 2024

    Julia Lopez, (Minister for Media, Tourism and Creative Industries)
    Social & Political Science @ Queen Camb.

    Minister of State for both Data and Digital Infrastructure and Minister of State for Media, Tourism and Creative Industries it seems.

    So what does she know about data & digital infrastructure? About as much as much as our Minister for Energy Security & Net Zero (failed philosopher) knows about energy or I know about Beowulf I assume.

  11. mancunius
    January 31, 2024

    “once this case has passed.” Hmm, rather a Freudian choice of word there. The more obvious phrase would be ‘has been decided’. Has the government then already decide to ‘pass’ it?

    And why has Parliament never previously considered the necessity of legislating to prevent a media outlet from being sold to a foreign power?

  12. agricola
    January 31, 2024

    Apologies if I misinterpreted her answer, but I translated it as , keep your nose out.

  13. Mickey Taking
    January 31, 2024

    As Sir John asks – surely that should have been the case beforehand?

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