South Yorkshire Police have expanded their investigation into veteran singer Sir Cliff Richard, their chief officer has said.
Chief Constable David Crompton said the investigation has ‘increased significantly in size’ since it started and now involves ‘more than one allegation’.
However, he said the ‘expanding nature’ of the investigation meant he could not say when it will finish.
Sir Cliff said last night the allegations are ‘absurd and untrue’.
He said: “The police have not disclosed details to me. I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident the truth will prevail.
“I have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so.
“Beyond stating 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.”
In a letter to Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee which investigated the publication of the allegations, Mr Crompton said the force was in regular contact with Sir Cliff’s lawyers.
The publication of the letter from Mr Crompton, follows an independent report into an agreement between South Yorkshire Police and the BBC which led to a raid on the singer’s home in Berkshire being broadcast live around the world.
The independent report found the deal ‘certainly interfered with his privacy and may well have caused unnecessary distress’.
Following the raid, 74-year-old Sir Cliff – famous for songs such as Congratulations and Living Doll – was interviewed by detectives investigating the original allegation of a sex crime involving a young boy in Sheffield in the 1980s.
Sir Cliff was not arrested or charged.
Former chief constable Andy Trotter said the forceshould never have a made a deal with the broadcaster – a decision taken after a BBC reporter went to the force saying he knew they were investigating the star.
Mr Crompton said a Metropolitan Police investigation into the leak to the BBC had been unable to find the source.
In his letter, Mr Crompton said: “South Yorkshire Police detectives are in very regular contact with Sir Cliff’s lawyers. Typically this involves a verbal update about once a fortnight.
“We have not written directly to Sir Cliff. It is the responsibility of his lawyers to ensure he is fully briefed on the conversations with investigators.
“This investigation has increased significantly in size since its inception. Sir Cliff’s lawyers are aware there is more than one allegation.”