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Sir Cliff Richard faces grilling from police officers over sex crime claim

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: August 25, 2014

By Neil Lancefield and Aine Fox

Sir Cliff Richard has been interviewed under caution by police detectives investigating a sex crime claim involving a young boy.

The veteran star voluntarily met members of South Yorkshire Police yesterday, and was not arrested or charged.

South Yorkshire police said they had spoken to a 73-year-old man.

"The man was interviewed under caution but was not arrested. He entered South Yorkshire Police premises by arrangement."

The singer's Berkshire apartment was searched by police last week as part of the investigation into an alleged sexual assault at a religious event in 1985.

A spokesman for Sir Cliff said on Saturday night: "Today Sir Cliff Richard voluntarily met with and was interviewed by members of South Yorkshire Police. He was not arrested or charged.

"He co-operated fully with officers and answered the questions put to him. Other than restating that this allegation is completely false and that he will continue to co-operate fully with the police, it would not be appropriate for Sir Cliff to say anything further at this time."

Sir Cliff was in Portugal when the search took place on August 14.

His fans have rallied round the veteran star since the allegation became public and are showing their support by buying copies of his 1992 Number Seven hit I Still Believe In You with the song headed for this weekend's Top 40. It emerged earlier this week that he has pulled out of a visit to the US Open tennis championships and turned down the freedom of his adopted Portuguese home city of Albufeira. He also cancelled an appearance at a charity event at Canterbury Cathedral next month because he did not want the event to be "overshadowed by the false allegation".

Meanwhile the BBC has been accused of a "cover-up" over its role in the raid by officers from South Yorkshire and Thames Valley police.

South Yorkshire police chief constable David Crompton claimed the corporation appeared to "distance itself from what had happened" after it broadcast the raid on the pop star's penthouse.

Keith Vaz, home affairs committee chairman, said the claims were a "matter of deep concern". He has summoned the chief constable and BBC director general Tony Hall to appear before the committee.

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