Sir Cliff Richard (pic: Reuters) is set to sue the BBC for breach of privacy over coverage of a police raid on his home, the Mail on Sunday reports.
The paper reported yesterday that it is expected Richard will not be charged over an alleged historic sexual offence. And in a front page report, 'Sir Cliff: I'll sue the BBC', it said the singer is set to seek damages from the corporation and may also launch legal action the police.
The BBC was tipped off about the raid on Richard’s Berkshire home by South Yorkshire Police on 14 August and filmed the arrival of eight plainclothes police officers in five unmarked cars using a helicopter and journalists on the ground.
In September, BBC director general Lord Hall told MPs that reporter Dan Johnson was briefed by South Yorksire Police about the raid after telling the force he had a tip-off that Richard was under investigation.
South Yorkshire Police has said it cooperated with the BBC because it feared they would publish the story in advance of the raid and undermine the investigation.
Lord Hall told MPs: “Had the chief constable come to the news editor, the head of newsgathering, James Harding or myself and said to us if you run this story you will hinder this investigation we would have not have run this story…"
And Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz said: “the BBC have acted entirely properly with regard to this matter”.
The Mail on Sunday quotes emails sent between Johnson and South Yorkshire Police head of corporate communications Carrie Goodwin.
In one, Goodwin alleges that Johnson had gone to them with extensive details of the alleged incident involving Richard.
In another, the BBC journalist expressed concern that the alleged victim could tip off other media about the raid on Richard’s home.