After Labour’s landslide victory, what do we know about Labour’s policy for TV and film?

The former shadow culture, media and sport secretary Thangam Debbonaire lost to the Green Party’s co-leader Carla Denyer in the Bristol Central constituency. Starmer has moved quickly to replace her with Lisa Nandy, whose mother worked in TV as a t producer, with credits including What The Papers Say and Union World.

At the end of April, Debbonaire delivered a keynote at the Creative Cities Convention, held in Bristol, where she addressed key points on AI, the BBC and freelancers. She had also said that sustainable practices in the industry are a priority.

Reflecting the broader Labour party manifesto, she promised that a Labour government would be looking to strike trade deals with other countries, adding a commitment “to maintain and promote the UK’s strong copyright regime,” which she described as “the bedrock of our successful creative industries.” Going on to say: “Getting this right will be good for the screen sector as a whole, as well as individual creatives, to protect the films and shows you’re invested in.”

Debbonaire acknowledged “the potential of AI to unlock new creative frontiers.”

She referenced the need to improve the rights of freelancers, in tune with the party manifesto, which also talks about clamping down on late payments. She talked about giving freelancers rights to written contracts, safeguards around whistleblowing and additional health and safety considerations.

She showed support for public sector broadcasting. “There are big decisions to make about the future of public sector broadcasting in the next few years….We have to make sure that – together – we are communicating the importance of public sector broadcasting. To our national life, and to our economy. In a year when so many people across the world are going to the polls, when disinformation and the reckless re-writing of history are running rampant, the integrity and impartiality of the news has never felt more important.”

Before losing her seat, she also pledged that the party would prioritise sustainable practices and net zero targets in the creative industries.


Pippa Considine

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