Digital Economy Bill [ Lords]

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 5:26 pm on 6th April 2010.

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Photo of Don Foster Don Foster Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 5:26 pm, 6th April 2010

I agree entirely with the right hon. Gentleman. As I pointed out earlier, given the enormity of the Bill and the important provisions it contains, it would have been perfectly possible to timetable it much earlier so that we were not in the difficult situation in which many of us now find ourselves. However, that does not prevent us from getting on with some of the important provisions, not least in relation to upgrading the remit of Channel 4.

It is worth reflecting that nothing commissioned by Film Four-from "My Beautiful Launderette" to "The Last King of Scotland"-has ever formally counted towards Channel 4's public service delivery, yet the channel has been a huge catalyst in developing the creative industries in this country and the Bill now makes it a formal requirement that the role be continued. It also makes it a requirement that Channel 4 make a contribution in the crucial area of children's broadcasting. I welcome that element of the Bill.

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