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South Yorkshire Police 'inept' over Sir Cliff home raid

South Yorkshire Police have been branded 'inept' in their handling of a raid on Sir Cliff Richard's home Credit: PA Wire

South Yorkshire Police has been branded "inept" by MPs for its handling of a raid, broadcast live on the BBC, on the home of Sir Cliff Richard.

The raid on the pop singer's home in Berkshire was broadcast live on the BBC in August after the broadcaster was tipped off in advance.

The chief constable of South Yorkshire Police told MPs the force was convinced the BBC would run a story about the investigation without a deal so felt it had no option but to work with the broadcaster.

In a report published today, The Home Affairs Select Committee said that, when the corporation’s reporter "threatened to break the story prematurely unless he was given inside access to the raid on Sir Cliff’s home, South Yorkshire Police should not have tried to cut a deal with him".

The MPs concluded that the force should have approached senior BBC executives to explain the damage that such premature disclosure could do to the investigation.

"In the absence of any such approach from South Yorkshire, the BBC was well within its rights to run the story, although as a result Sir Cliff himself has suffered enormous, irreparable damage to his reputation", the MPs said.

Sir Cliff, who was on holiday at the time of the raid, has denied any wrongdoing over the allegations, which date back to the 1980s and involve an underage boy. He has been interviewed under caution by police, but neither arrested nor charged


Key dates in Alvin Stardust's showbusiness career

Alvin Stardust, who has died aged 72, had a rich and varied career in both music and, latterly, acting and musical theatre.

  • Born Bernard Jewry in 1942 in east London
  • Got his first guitar aged 12
  • Signed his first record deal in 1961 as frontman of Shane Fenton and the Fentones
  • Signed to Magnet Records in 1973, this time under the name Alvin Stardust.
  • Scored hits well into the 1980s including Pretend, I Feel Like Buddy Holly and My Coo Ca Choo
  • turned to acting in the 1990s, appearing in shows such as Hollyoaks, the Grimlys and Doctors
  • also appeared in several musicals, including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Boogie Nights

Alvin Stardust 'still had a great deal to give'

Alvin Stardust still had "a great deal to give", his manager has said.

The singer was on the verge of releasing a new album, entitled 'Alvin', at the start of November.

Alvin and I had only started working together over the last couple of years because he and I believed that musically he still had a great deal to give and explore, and so we recorded an album that is a testament to an artist who gave his career to music.

– Andy Davies

Mr Davies said although he did not know him very long, Stardust was "one of the most genuine and likeable men I've ever met".


Tributes paid to 'lovely' Alvin Stardust

People have been leaving their tributes to Alvin Stardust on Twitter, including radio DJ Tony Blackburn:

Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell said he "did the attitude consummately":

Former member of Blue, Antony Costa, remembers acting alongside him in the stage show Boogie Nights.

Alvin's ex-wife: Thank you for our beautiful daughter

A Twitter account that seems to belong to Alvin Stardust's former wife, Liza Goddard, carries a message for the late singer:

The pair married in 1981 and had one child together.

Alvin Stardust sings 1973 hit 'My Coo Ca Choo'

'My Coo Ca Choo' was Alvin Stardust's first successful release for Alvin Stardust and it reached number two in the UK Singles Chart in December 1973.

Singer and actor Alvin Stardust died this morning aged 72 after a short illness, his manager has said.

Stardust was set to release a new album, entitled 'Alvin', at the beginning of next month.

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