Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers due in court over coverage of South Yorkshire Police raid

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff Richard
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Lawyers for Sir Cliff Richard are due in court for the latest stage of a dispute between the singer and the BBC over the coverage of a South Yorkshire Police raid of his home.

Sir Cliff is suing the BBC over reports in which he was named as a suspected sex offender while officers were raiding his apartment in Sunningdale, Berkshire, in August 2014.

BBC editors have said they will 'defend ourselves vigorously'.

Detail of Sir Cliff's claim emerged last year in paperwork lodged at the High Court by lawyers.

Today, a judge, Mr Justice Mann, is scheduled to oversee the latest in a series of preliminary hearings in London.

Sir Cliff is taking legal action against the BBC and South Yorkshire Police over the way a raid of his home was aired live on national television.

South Yorkshire Police provided the BBC with details of the raid in advance.

Lawyers representing Sir Cliff said in written submissions in October that he had suffered 'profound and long-lasting' damage.

In December a BBC spokeswoman said bosses would defend the coverage.

She said the BBC had reported Sir Cliff's 'full denial of the allegations at every stage'.

In June, South Yorkshire Police apologised 'wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused' by the force's 'initial handling of the media interest' in its investigation into the singer.

Sir Cliff, aged 76, spent two years under investigation over allegations of historical sexual abuse.

The probe was launched after a man claimed he was sexually assaulted by the singer at a Christian rally in Sheffield in 1985 when he was 16 years old.

four men made allegations in total, claiming offences took place between 1958 and 1983.

But Sir Cliff always denied any wrongdoing and last June the Crown Prosecution Service said no action would be taken.