Sir Cliff police given 'information' after search

Cliff Richard Sir Cliff said the allegation was "completely false"

Police say "a number of people" have "provided information" after a Berkshire property belonging to Sir Cliff Richard was searched in relation to an alleged historical sex offence.

South Yorkshire Police, which carried out the search in Sunningdale on Thursday, did not say what this information related to.

Police said the allegation involved a boy under 16.

Sir Cliff, 73, has said the allegation is "completely false".

In a statement issued on Thursday, he said: "For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online.

"The allegations are completely false. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen."

He said he would "co-operate fully" if the police wanted to speak to him.

Police 'grateful'

The BBC understands the allegation relates to an alleged assault at an event featuring US preacher Billy Graham at Bramall Lane in Sheffield in 1985.

In a statement, South Yorkshire Police (SYP) said it had not alerted the media to the search in advance.

It said: "When a media outlet contacted SYP with information about an investigation, we took the decision to work with them in order to protect the integrity of that investigation.

"Since the search took place, a number of people have contacted the police to provide information and we must acknowledge that the media played a part in that, for which we are grateful."

In his statement, Sir Cliff said the police had searched his home "without notice, except it would appear to the press".

Earlier, Jonathan Munro, the BBC's head of newsgathering, wrote on Twitter that South Yorkshire Police had not been the source of the story.

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