Cliff Richard 'not charged or arrested' after police interview

Sir Cliff Richard has been interviewed by South Yorkshire Police, his spokesman has said today. He voluntarily met with officers and was not arrested or charged.

The BBC was accused of a "cover up" over its role in the police raid on Sir Cliff Richard's flat, following an allegation of sexual assault.

Director General Tony Hall said BBC journalists "acted appropriately" in their coverage of the police raid on Cliff Richard's flat following a sexual assault allegation.

Sir Cliff has strongly denied any wrongdoing, saying an allegation of an historic sexual assault is false.

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Commissioner demands independent review into Sir Cliff "leak"

South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has commissioned an independent review looking into how the search of Sir Cliff Richard's home last week became public.

Earlier today Shaun Wright met with Chief Constable David Crompton, after a row erupted when the BBC broke news of the search of the pop star's Berkshire penthouse. It followed an allegation of sexual assault.

He has appointed former Chief Constable Andy Trotter, who developed guidance on the relationship between the police and the media after the Leveson Inquiry.

On his website, the following statement has been released:

"The Commissioner is keen to ensure a full, fair and transparent analysis of actions taken and to determine if they were aligned with the College of Policing Guidance on Relationships with the Media relevant to such disclosure.

"He has therefore appointed former Chief Constable Andy Trotter, former chair of the national police Communications Advisory Group, who was instrumental in developing the guidance on behalf of the College, post-Leveson Inquiry.

"Following the acknowledgement by the BBC that South Yorkshire Police was not the original source of the leak, questions still need to be answered as to the actual source of the leak."

– Spokesman for the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

BBC says it will not name sources in Sir Cliff row

The BBC has said it "does not name its sources nor is it appropriate to go into detail around editorial processes" regarding the Sir Cliff Richard raid leak.

In response to a letter from Home Affairs Select Committee chair Keith Vaz demanding answers from the broadcaster, a BBC spokesperson said: "We have received the letter and will respond in due course.

"Mr Vaz understands and supports the right of the media to report matters in the public interest.

"The BBC's editorial independence is protected by our Royal Charter and is highly valued by the public. The BBC does not name its sources nor is it appropriate to go into detail around editorial processes."


MPs demand answers over Sir Cliff Richard search leak

MPs have demanded answers from both South Yorkshire Police and the BBC as to how the broadcaster seemed to know about the raid on Sir Cliff Richard's Berkshire home before it happened.

Keith Vaz wants answers by the end of this week. Credit: PA

Home Affairs Select Committee chair Keith Vaz has written to both sides asking them to explain themselves.

In the letter, Mr Vaz asks when the BBC first learned of South Yorkshire Police's intention to carry out the raid, how the BBC received this information and if the police force confirmed the time and date of the planned search to the BBC.

He also queries if it is possible that any BBC journalist behaved inappropriately during the handling of the case and asks for a response by Friday August 22.

Depending what the responses are, witnesses from the police and the BBC could be called to give evidence to the committee when they resume in September.

74% believe sex crime suspects should stay anonymous

Almost three-quarters (74%) of people surveyed by ITV News believe that people accused of sexual assault should be given anonymity until proven guilty.

It comes after a succession of veteran celebrities have faced accusations, and in some cases convictions, for sexual crimes dating back many years.

Former Deputy Commons Speaker Nigel Evans, who was acquitted of sexual assault charges earlier this year, has called for anonymity of individuals involved in police investigations unless they are convicted.

The ITV News/ComRes Index also found that almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents believe investigations into historical cases of sexual assault by celebrities should continue until they have all come to light.

Police watchdog calls for BBC to explain Sir Cliff leak

The policing watchdog has called for the BBC and the police force to explain the leak about the raid on Sir Cliff Richard's house.

Sir Cliff's Berkshire home was searched for five hours on Thursday. Credit: PA

Chief Constable Alex Marshall, chief executive of the College of Policing, said if the disclosure was unauthorised it would contravene the code of ethics and those responsible should be held to account.

He said: "It is paramount that investigations are conducted fairly, impartially and with integrity.

"The BBC have said that it was not South Yorkshire Police who first alerted them to this investigation and have not confirmed where the information came from.

"If the information was an unauthorised disclosure from within policing then it would be contrary to the Code of Ethics and the person concerned should be held to account.

"The presence of a BBC film crew at the scene of a police search, usually a closely guarded secret, has attracted understandable attention. It is for South Yorkshire Police and the BBC to explain the circumstances of this case."

Parkinson brands Sir Cliff investigation a 'witch hunt'

Sir Michael Parkinson has told ITV News the investigation into his friend Sir Cliff Richard and others "feels like some sort of witch hunt."

He said anyone who has not been charged with a crime should not be named by police or have their names reported in the press.

The talk show host, who lives close to disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris, criticised police handling of such cases saying "the media were there before the police were."

He added there was a "lot to be learned" from Operation Yewtrew and said media should "tread more softly" when covering such stories.


Dominic Grieve calls Cliff raid leak 'very questionable'

Attorney General Dominic Grieve said the alleged tip off Credit: PA

Former Attorney General Dominic Grieve has branded the police handling of the raid of Sir Cliff Richard's house "odd" and "very questionable".

He told the Sunday Telegraph: "I can see that police might not want to warn somebody about a search because they fear a suspect will destroy the evidence. But it was much odder to tip off the BBC that they were carrying out the raid."

Mr Grieve also questioned whether the force could have breached national guidelines by making public its investigation.

'Journalistic procedures followed' on Sir Cliff story

The BBC has said normal journalistic practices were followed in its coverage of the search of Sir Cliff Richard's home following a complaint by South Yorkshire Police.

The broadcaster found out about a search of Sir Cliff Richard's home in relation to an alleged historical offence, and cameras and reporters were stationed outside the singer's home as police arrived on Thursday.

BBC journalists gathered outside Cliff Richard's home while searches were carried out. Credit: PA Wire

The police force accused the broadcaster of breaking its own editorial guidelines, but the BBC insisted "normal journalist practices" were followed.

"A BBC journalist approached South Yorkshire Police with information about the investigation," a BBC spokeswoman said.

"The BBC agreed to follow normal journalistic practice and not to publish a story that might jeopardise a police inquiry."

Jonathan Munro, the BBC's head of newsgathering, said the police force had not been the source of the story, tweeting: "We won't say who, but can confirm it was not South Yorks Police."

South Yorkshire Police complain over Sir Cliff 'leak'

South Yorkshire Police has complained to the BBC and accused it of breaching its own editorial guidelines after the broadcaster found out about a search the force was planning to carry out at the home of pop star Sir Cliff Richard.

South Yorkshire Police said:

The force was contacted some weeks ago by a BBC reporter who made it clear he knew of the existence of an investigation. It was clear he (was) in a position to publish it.

South Yorkshire Police considers it disappointing that the BBC was slow to acknowledge that the force was not the source of the leak.

A letter of complaint has been sent to the Director General of the BBC making it clear that the broadcaster appears to have contravened it's editorial guidelines.

– South Yorkshire Police

Sir Cliff Richard 'concerned' about abuse allegation

Police investigating a claim of an historic sex offence by Sir Cliff Richard said today that the media coverage of his home being searched has led to a number of people coming forward with information.

A friend of the singer told ITV News that the 73-year-old is "concerned" about the allegation, which he strongly denies.

Martha Fairlie reports from Portugal, where the pop star is currently on holiday.

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