CHANNEL 4 has slapped down Nadine Dorries over a claim she made about privatising the channel in the Commons.

The broadcaster issued a clarification correcting comments the Culture Secretary made in parliament in Westminster on Thursday.

She defended plans to privatise Channel 4, claiming the channel itself backed plans to change how it was funded.

Dorries told MPs: “They want to raise investment, they want to invest in more content.

READ MORE: Nadine Dorries says Channel 4 News ‘doesn’t do itself any favours’ on impartiality

“And what we’re doing is setting Channel 4 free to be able to do that because as state-owned [sic] if Channel 4 does that, whilst it’s state-owned, it’s offset against the public balance sheet.

“We cannot allow that because Governments don’t own money, we only have taxpayers’ money and therefore we have to enable Channel 4 to be able to be set free to raise investment and continue to make the amazing and distinctive content, edgy diverse programmes that it does.”

She also referenced a report published by Channel 4 called The Next Episode which she claimed showed the broadcaster “wants to raise investment”.

But Channel 4’s press team have hit back at the Culture Secretary’s claims.

The broadcaster tweeted: “A proposal was made, in response to a request from [the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport], showing how C4 could potentially raise a small amount of outside capital.

“C4 is in excellent financial health & does not want or need to raise outside capital to fund its future plans.”

The Next Episode report specifically outlines a funding model for the channel which would avoid privatisation.

READ MORE: Channel 4 lays out 'levelling up' alternative to Tory privatisation plan

Alex Mahon, Channel 4’s chief executive, said on the report’s publication earlier this month: “The [Government] proposes some significant changes to the Channel 4 model and to its role as a key institution as part of the UK creative industries landscape.

“We also recognise that standing still in this ever-changing world is not an option. We developed a new vision, 4: The Next Episode, which represents our vision of what more Channel 4 can be and can do, while continuing to be owned by the British people.”

The sale of Channel 4 is thought to be partly politically motivated with the channel’s news programmes frequently reporting critically on the Government.

Stuart Cosgrove, a former Channel 4 executive, previously told The National: “There is clearly a feeling of vengeful policy. Channel 4 has a long history of challenging orthodoxy across the board, including government.”