14 Aug 2014

Sir Cliff Richard: ‘allegations are completely false’

Sir Cliff Richard says historic allegations against him are completely false, after it emerges police investigating an alleged historic sex offence are searching his Berkshire home.

Sir Cliff, believed to be in Portugal, said in a statement: “For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online. The allegations are completely false.”

South Yorkshire Police are investigating the allegation, which relates to a boy under 16 in the South Yorkshire area, and dates back to the 1980s. It is believed that the alleged incident took place at a Christian rally organised by American evangelist Billy Graham in 1985.

A number of items are understood to have been taken from the Berkshire property, but no arrests have been made.

A statement from South Yorkshire Police said: “South Yorkshire Police has gained entry to a property in the Sunningdale area of Berkshire. Officers are currently searching the property.

“A search warrant was granted after police received an allegation of a sexual nature dating back to the 1980s involving a boy who was under the age of 16 at the time.

“No one has been arrested and the owner of the property was not present.”

Thames Valley Police confirmed that it had helped the South Yorkshire force with the execution of a search warrant at the address in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

The search is not related to Operation Yewtree.