Sir Cliff wins key court battle against BBC
SIR Cliff Richard, pictured, has scored a key victory in his battle with the BBC, after a judge ordered the broadcaster to reveal information about the source of its false sex abuse claims.
The BBC must disclose whether it was tipped off by someone linked to the Met Police unit examining sexabuse allegations in an investigation codenamed Operation Yewtree.
The BBC has been fighting to keep this information secret, saying it had a duty to protect its journalistic sources.
However, a judge weighed this up against Richard’s right to a fair trial, and decided that the BBC must give “a proper answer”.
The order is the latest salvo in Richard’s long-running legal row with the BBC over the way it reported false claims that he was a sex abuser in 2014.
The corporation broke the story that the 76-year-old singer was being investigated and – controversially – had a phalanx of journalists and a helicopter waiting for police as they arrived to raid his £3 million (R50.8m) home in Sunningdale, Berkshire.
Richard was suing the BBC for “very substantial” damages for the depression, distress and humiliation he suffered as a result. He also sued the South Yorkshire Police, and accepted an undisclosed sum to settle that case last week.
As part of his battle with the BBC, Richard has tried to find out more about how news of the allegations was leaked. He demanded that its editors disclose whether the source of information was someone working for Operation Yewtree.
Judge Anthony Mann said Richard’s right to a fair trial outweighed the risk of the BBC exposing its source.
The BBC does not have to name the individual who gave the tip-off – just whether they were part of Operation Yewtree.
The corporation said on Tuesday it was considering whether to appeal the decision. – Daily Mail