THE Mayor of West Yorkshire claims "selling off" Channel 4 risks losing its "commitment to diversity and inclusion" and also huge economic benefits for the county.

Channel 4 was put out for public consultation today by the Government, with people and interested parties asked to contribute their views on its potential change of ownership.

The Government said it is considering a change of ownership of Channel 4 to ensure its future and sustainability.

A statement on the Goverment's website said: "The government wants to preserve Channel 4’s status as a public service broadcaster producing original, distinctive content as well as high quality news and current affairs serving every corner of the country.

"It believes private-sector ownership of Channel 4 and a change to its remit could enable it to thrive in the decades to come as a successful and sustainable public service broadcaster."

But Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, fears private involvement could risk losing what makes Channel 4 what it is.

She said in a statement: “Today the Government has launched a public consultation in relation to the future of Channel 4.

“Selling off Channel 4 to a private company risks losing the things that make the broadcaster so special to our communities.

"Not only do we risk losing the channel’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, but we also risk losing the vast economic benefits that Channel 4 brings to places like West Yorkshire.

"From creating jobs and bringing top-tier investment, to boosting our young people’s career prospects with skilled apprenticeships, Channel 4 really does make a difference and champions a more level playing field.

“There are no guarantees that a private company would be committed to these things.

"We must protect these incredibly important priorities; these values that lie at the heart of Channel 4.

"This is why we must make our voices heard before it’s too late and tell the Government why privatisation cannot happen.

“I will be holding a meeting next Tuesday with leaders and stakeholders from across West Yorkshire and beyond.

"Here I will be making the strong case that Channel 4 must remain a public broadcaster and will seek support to back our campaign.

"I am determined to be the voice for those people who would be affected by this change, as well as anyone who believes, like I do, that this would be a travesty.

“Together, we can have our say and make a difference.”