Pop star Sir Cliff Richard has refused to become ‘embroiled’ in a row between South Yorkshire Police and the BBC over the media coverage of a search of his home.
His lawyers have sent a letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee, which is investigating why the BBC was present when police officers raided Sir Cliff’s penthouse in Berkshire last month.
Police chiefs have lodged a complaint at a BBC statement that the force struck a deal with the organisation in a ‘deliberate attempt to ensure maximum coverage’ of the raid.
Chief Constable David Crompton told the committee a police probe into an allegation Sir Cliff sexually abused a boy in Sheffield in 1985 had been ‘fatally compromised’ by a claimed leak from someone within high profile sex crime inquiry Operation Yewtree to the BBC.
But BBC bosses claimed their reporter who received the Sir Cliff tip-off before the raid only knew the star’s name and was furnished with further details by South Yorkshire Police.
In a letter to the select committee, Sir Cliff’s solicitor Gideon Benaim said: “While there is an ongoing police investigation, we would not wish our client to become embroiled in the wider issues being considered by the committee.”