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  1. National

Sir Cliff lawyers: BBC 'caused very serious harm'

A letter from lawyers acting for Cliff Richard sent to the chair of the Home Affairs Select Committe said:

Leaving aside the actions of the police, the actions of the BBC have also caused very serious harm to our client at a time when he had not been interviewed by the police, or of course arrested or charged.

Against this backdrop, we believe that it would be inappropriate to hold that the BBC has "behaved perfectly properly", as suggested at the hearing of 2 September.

As stated in our letter of 1 September 2014 we do not feel it appropriate to say more whilst there is a live investigation ongoing, but felt that it would be wrong not to place on record at this stage our concern regarding the BBC, whose coverage has led to immeasurable harm to our client and was both premature and disproportionate.

– Lawyers for Sir Cliff Richard
  1. National

South Yorkshire Police 'actions well intended but ultimately flawed'

Responding to the findings of The Home Affairs Committee, South Yorkshire Police said it believed its actions were "within policy and well intended" but admitted they were "ultimately flawed" with regard the handing of a raid on Sir Cliff Richard's home in August.

Whilst we believe our actions were within policy and were well intended, they were ultimately flawed and we regret the additional anxiety which was caused to Sir Cliff Richard.

South Yorkshire Police has changed the way it deals with this type of media enquiry. In high profile cases the force no longer provides privileged briefings to reporters, nor does it confirm information which media sources seek to verify.

We are fully cooperating with the Metropolitan Police investigation regarding the original source of information.

– South Yorkshire Police

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  1. National

Sir Cliff 'suffered irreparable damage to reputation'

Sir Cliff Richard has suffered ‘enormous, irreparable damage to his reputation’ as a result of the BBC broadcasting live coverage of a police raid on his home, MPs have said.

The Home Affairs Select Committee has called South Yorkshire Police's handling of the raid, broadcast live on the BBC in August, as "inept".

Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: "No British citizen should have to watch their home being raided by the police live on television.

"Sir Cliff Richard has suffered enormous and irreparable damage to his reputation and he is owed an apology over the way matters were handled."

  1. National

Vaz: Emails 'could be mistaken for script from The Bill'

Home Affairs Committee Chairman Keith Vaz said email exchanges between the BBC and South Yorkshire Police 'could be mistaken for a script from The Bill'.

Mr Vaz said: "South Yorkshire Police's handling of this situation was utterly inept. The force allowed itself to hand over sensitive information to a journalist and granted him privileged access to the execution of a search warrant.

"The email exchanges could easily be mistaken for a script from The Bill. The force should have refused to co-operate and explained to senior BBC News executives why the premature broadcasting of a story, which they claimed the journalist threatened, would have prejudiced the investigation."

  1. National

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

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Dreamflight: Full interview with Sir Cliff Richard

Sir Cliff Richard waved off 200 hundred children from across the South East who are on their way to America at Heathrow yesterday.

They are a group of seriously ill and disabled youngsters taking part of a trip to theme parks in Florida. The trip was organised by a Buckinghamshire charity called Dreamflight.

Sir Cliff's full interview is below: