HC Deb 24 November 1965 vol 721 cc511-2
37. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Minister without Portfolio if he is aware that serious libels are regularly perpetrated under the cover of the limited liability company structure, in circumstances where the injured person has the option only of inaction or incurring irrecoverable expense; and whether he will seek to amend the law so as to attach personal responsibility to directors of companies responsible for the issue of defamatory matter.

The Minister without Portfolio (Sir Eric Fletcher)

I do not think that any amending legislation is required in view of the fact that, in the case of a libel published in a newspaper or other periodical, not only the publisher, but also the author and the printer, as well as any other persons responsible for the publication, are liable.

Mr. Shepherd

In the case of a limited liability company, are the individual directors of the company responsible for what is published and can they be personally attacked on those grounds?

Sir Eric Fletcher

The hon. Member may assume that any director of a company who caused the libel or connived at it would be liable equally with the company.