Cliff Richard investigation has 'increased significantly in size'

South Yorkshire Police's Chief Constable David Crompton has said the Sir Cliff Richard investigation has "increased significantly in size"

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Cliff Richards lawyers: MPs 'enabled media coverage'

Lawyers representing Sir Cliff Richard have accused MPs of damaging the singer by releasing a letter from South Yorkshire Police to the media.

The letter, released earlier this week, said the police investigation had "increased significantly in size" and contained "more than one allegation". Sir Richard's lawyers complain the letter did not need to be published, and its publication "encouraged widespread publicity".

As a direct result of the decision of the committee to publish the SYP letter, and to proactively send it to media organisations, our client has been exposed to a further round of unnecessary and extremely damaging media coverage, with no due process.

Our client had no opportunity to comment or make submissions to the committee in advance of publication, but had he been able to do so, the damage that has since been caused by the Committee's actions and by the SYP letter would, most likely, have been avoided.

It is the committee who have acted as enablers to the media so that they could report on claims of new allegations about which our client has been given no or very little information; about which he has yet to be questioned; for which he has not been arrested; and of course, over which he has not been charged.

The committee have, through their actions, facilitated coverage which would not have otherwise occurred.

– Gideon Benaim, of Michael Simkins LLP

Sir Cliff has previously said the claims against him were "absurd and untrue" and he had "never, in my life, assaulted anyone."

He was interviewed under caution last year by detectives investigating a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s, but was not arrested or charged.

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Sir Cliff Richard denies allegations

I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from. The police have not disclosed details to me.

I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail. I have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so.

Beyond stating that the allegations are completely false, it would not be appropriate for me to say anything further until the investigation has concluded, which I hope will be very soon. In the meantime, I would, again, like to thank everyone for supporting me through this unbelievably difficult period.

– Sir Cliff Richard

South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable letter to Keith Vaz

South Yorkshire Police detectives are in very regular contact with Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers. Typically this involves a verbal update about once a fortnight.

We have not written directly to Sir Cliff Richard. It is the responsibility of his lawyers to ensure he is fully briefed on the conversations which have taken place with investigators.

This is an investigation which has increased significantly in size since its inception. Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers are aware that there is more than one allegation.

In view of the expanding nature of the investigation, it would be premature and potentially misleading to predict a likely date when it will be concluded; however, we are progressing as swiftly as possible.

Two paragraphs of the letter from Mr Crompton were blacked out before being released.

– David Crompton, South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable

Police: Cliff Richard investigation has "increased significantly in size"

The police investigation into veteran singer Sir Cliff Richard has "increased significantly in size" since its inception and involves "more than one allegation", South Yorkshire's Chief Constable has revealed.

Cliff Richard Credit: Press Association

The force are currently investigating the singer following allegations in relation to a concert in Sheffield in the 1980s.

David Crompton said the "expanding nature" of the investigation meant he could not give a date when it would be concluded.

In a letter to Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Crompton said the force was in regular contact with Sir Cliff's lawyers.

Calendar news understands that a letter does exist between Keith Vaz and the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, but the force maintains that any discussion of its contents has not come from their office.

The publication of the letter from Mr Crompton, dated February 10, followed a scathing independent report into an agreement between South Yorkshire Police (SYP) and the BBC which led to a raid on the singer's home being broadcast live around the world.

The independent report found that the deal "certainly interfered with his privacy and may well have caused unnecessary distress".

Following the raid, Sir Cliff was interviewed by detectives investigating a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy, but was not arrested or charged.

Former chief constable Andy Trotter said SYP should never have a made a deal with the broadcaster - a decision taken after BBC reporter Dan Johnson went to the force saying he knew they were investigating the veteran entertainer.

Mr Crompton said a Metropolitan Police investigation into the source of the leak to the BBC had been unable to find the source

South Yorkshire Police Constable David Crompton Credit: Press Association
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