News story

Repeal of the Newspaper Libel and Registration Act 1881

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

From the 26 May 2015 there is no longer a requirement for a newspaper, not incorporated as a company, to file an annual return or notify a change of proprietor.

The Deregulation Act 2015 makes provision for legislation which is no longer of practical use to cease to apply. As a result, Sections 7 to 18 and Schedule A and B of the Newspaper Libel and Registration Act 1881 was revoked on 26 May 2015.

The majority of UK newspapers are now incorporated as companies under the Companies Act 2006 and therefore the requirement for the Registrar of Companies to hold a register of newspaper proprietors is repealed.

The current provisions require proprietors of newspapers not registered as companies to file an annual return with Companies House and notify the registrar of changes. The Act applies to newspaper proprietors registered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The Act does not apply to Scotland.

With effect from 26 May 2015 there is no longer a requirement for a newspaper not incorporated as a company to file an annual return (form NLR1) or notify a change of proprietor (NLR2) in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Section 4 of the Newspaper Libel and Registration Act - Inquiry by court of a summary jurisdiction as to libel being for public benefit or being true - will remain in place for Northern Ireland.