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Yorkshire Police deny wrongdoing in Sir Cliff search

One of the police forces which searched Sir Cliff Richard's home denied they acted in a way designed to "ensure maximum coverage" of their investigation.

David Crompton
David Crompton will appear in front of the Home Affairs select committee later today. Credit: PA

South Yorkshire Police chief David Crompton said the force was approached by a BBC journalist with detailed information about its investigation, and "reluctantly" the reporter was give notice of the planned search to dissuade the corporation from publishing details in advance.

He objected to an analysis piece published on the BBC website that he felt suggested there had been a deliberate attempt to "ensure maximum coverage" by the force, and accused the broadcaster of trying to "distance itself" from the fact it had initiated contact with them.

Thames Valley Police said it had no contact with the media before the search warrant was executed.

BBC News' head of newsgathering Jonathan Munro said information about an inquiries into Sir Cliff did not come from South Yorkshire Police, while the force said it had decided to work with the broadcaster to protect its investigation.

BBC and Police face MPs over Cliff Richard coverage

The head of the BBC and South Yorkshire Police force will face an influential group of MPs as they answer questions about their involvement in the coverage of a raid on Sir Cliff Richard's home.

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard was on holiday in Portugal when his home was searched by police. Credit: PA

Force head David Crompton and director general Lord Tony Hall will appear in front of the Home Affairs select committee to answer questions about a row over the way the BBC reported a police search on the pop star's home.

Sir Cliff's Berkshire penthouse was searched by officers from both South Yorkshire and Thames Valley Police last month in connection with an alleged sexual assault on a young boy in 1985.

A BBC camera crew allegedly arrived before the police did.

The pop star was questioned by police, but has not been charged or arrested. He denies the allegations of historical abuse.

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China accuses MPs of 'interference' in Hong Kong

The Chinese government has lodged a strongly-worded protest about a British parliamentary inquiry into Hong Kong.

The Foreign Affairs Committee has announced plans to look into how the former British territory has progressed since becoming part of China in 1997.

The Chinese government strongly opposes British MPs' inquiry into Hong Kong.
The Chinese government strongly opposes British MPs' inquiry into Hong Kong. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

In a letter to the committee Beijing said the investigation amounted to a "highly inappropriate act which constitutes interference in China's internal affairs".

Read: Police forcibly remove Hong Kong protestors

'Organisational arrogance' hampered Maddy probe

'Organisational arrogance' on the part of different crime agencies hampered the probe into Madeleine McCann's disappearance, according to the author of a previously unpublished report on the investigation.

Jim Gamble criticised the sense of 'competition' between different agencies.
Jim Gamble criticised the sense of 'competition' between different agencies. Credit: PA Archive

Jim Gamble told the Guardian: "Each one thought that their agency would bring the best to bear on this. We were all guilty."

He also told Sky News that different agencies trying to make their mark "created a sense of chaos and a sense of competition".

Mr Gamble, the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, said this had also damaged the relationship between British and Portuguese investigators, leading to further difficulties.

Report criticises Madeleine McCann investigation

A previously unpublished report into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann says the investigation was hampered because different police forces were competing against one another.

The report from Jim Gamble, the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, also attacked the decision to put Leicestershire constabulary in charge of the probe.

Madeleine McCann went missing from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007.
Madeleine McCann went missing from a holiday apartment in Portugal in 2007. Credit: PA Wire

Mr Gamble said the force was not properly equipped to deal with such a wide-ranging investigation.

According to Sky News the report, originally commissioned in 2009 by then Home Secretary Alan Johnson, led the Metropolitan Police to re-open the investigation in 2011.

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FBI and Apple investigating naked photo hacking

The FBI and Apple are investigating the apparent hacking iCloud accounts that led to the publication of hundreds of alleged naked photos of female celebrities online.

Stars including actress Jennifer Lawrence have threatened to take legal action over the release of the photos.

Jennifer Lawrence was one of the stars targeted by the hacking.
Jennifer Lawrence was one of the stars targeted by the apparent hacking. Credit: Dennis Van Tine/ABACA USA/Empics Entertainment

Apple spokeswoman Nat Kerris said: "We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report."

The FBI said it was "aware of the allegations concerning computer intrusions and the unlawful release of material involving high profile individuals, and is addressing the matter".

Campaigns set for third independence TV debate

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon will be one of the panellists for Yes Scotland.
SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon will be one of the panellists for Yes Scotland. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Leading figures from the Yes and No campaigns will go head to head tonight in the third major TV debate of the Scottish independence referendum campaign.

The debate will be broadcast live on STV Player tonight from 8pm to 10pm.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander will help make the case for a 'No' vote.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander will help make the case for a 'No' vote. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

STV political editor Bernard Ponsonby will host the debate in Edinburgh, with three panellists for each side.

Yes Scotland will be represented by deputy first minister and SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Green MSP Patrick Harvie and the actress and Scottish Independence Convention chair, Elaine C Smith.

Making the case for a 'No' vote will be Labour's shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Kezia Dugdale, Labour MSP and shadow education secretary in the Scottish Parliament.

You can follow the debate live on STV Player.

Royal Mail trialling skeleton Sunday parcel service

The Royal Mail is launching trials of parcel deliveries and office openings on Sundays, it has emerged.

Royal Mail
People unable to collect internet shopping deliveries during weekdays will benefit, Royal Mail said. Credit: PA

The parcel deliveries will all be made within the M25 area and customers will be able to collect them from around 100 offices at the end of the week.

Royal Mail said the move was aimed at making it easier for online shoppers to collect their purchases if they were not at home on a weekday.

Offices will be open for four hours from noon on a Sunday.

Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels, said: "We are continuing to be more customer-responsive and provide more options for people to receive items they have ordered online."

Free school meals give 'vital support' to 160k children

Approximately 160,000 extra children will be given "vital support" by the Government's free school meals scheme, a children's charity has found.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of The Children's Society, said:

The extension of free school meals to all infants in the country is a positive step in the fight against child poverty. Our analysis shows that about 160,000 more children in poverty will be getting this vital support as a result of this historic move. It shows that the Government recognises the hardship that thousands of families are facing.

– Matthew Reed
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