New minister with power over S4C claimed ‘leftwing snowflakes are killing comedy’
The new UK cabinet minister who oversees S4C claimed that “leftwing snowflakes are killing comedy”.
Nadine Dorries, who has been appointed Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle, will decide the funding settlement for the Welsh language broadcaster.
Her department also oversees the broadcasting regulator Ofcom, the remit of which extends to S4C.
The UK Government is currently in the process of deciding how much money S4C should have for the 2022-27 period. In 2010 the channel was handed a 36% budget cut in real terms.
Dorries, who voted against equal marriage, is a staunch ally of Boris Johnson.
She once made headlines after hitting out at former Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and his then Chancellor George Osborne, describing them as “arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk”.
She had the whip removed by the Conservative Party in 2012 for appearing on I’m a Celebrity. During her time on the show, she got her teeth into life in the jungle by chomping on a camel’s toe, a lamb’s testicle, and an ostrich’s anus in a stomach-churning Bushtucker Trial.
After partaking in the challenge, she said: “I actually feel a bit sick now, but I’m really glad I did it.”
She has regularly criticised the BBC, claiming it is institutionally skewed to the left.
In 2018 she tweeted that it was “a biased leftwing organisation which is seriously failing in its political representation, from the top down”.
In 2014 she wrote a blogpost about the licence fee, saying “a tax on the ownership of a television is a completely outdated concept”.
In a 2017 tweet which was widely recirculated after her new job was announced , Dorries said: “Leftwing snowflakes are killing comedy, tearing down historic statues, removing books from universities, dumbing down panto, removing Christ from Christmas and suppressing free speech. Sadly, it must be true, history does repeat itself. It will be music next.”
In 2013 she tweeted: “Apparently I’m racist because I think Chuck [Chuka] Umunna looks like Chris Eubank? What would I be if I said he looked like someone who was white??”
The UK Government has recently said that it planning to make it a legal requirement that public service broadcasters – which include S4C and BBC Wales – produce “distinctly British” programmes.
The then media minister John Whittingdale told a Royal Television Society conference that he was planning to “talk to Ofcom about how to make the obligation of Britishness work”.
Broadcast in the UK is state-regulated by Ofcom, which has the legal powers to fine a channel or withdraw its license to broadcast if it breaks Ofcom’s government-approved broadcasting code.
“So in our upcoming White Paper, I intend to include proposals that will expand the remit of public service broadcasters, so that it includes a requirement for them to produce ‘distinctively British’ content,” John Whittingdale said in comments reported by i.