Sir Cliff Richard house search: Everything we know

BBC criticism

Police officers have been warned they could face disciplinary action over their dealings with the BBC before the highly public, five-hour search of Sir Cliff Richard’s penthouse flat following an allegation of historic child abuse.

The corporation has come under fire from politicians, senior police and one of its most-popular former journalists, Sir Michael Parkinson, after it broke the story of the investigation into the 73-year-old singer, who is reportedly preparing to return from holiday in Portugal to face police questioning over the matter.

The College of Policing – which has drawn up an ethical code for officers – said South Yorkshire police and the BBC had to explain the circumstances of how the corporation was made aware of the search.

“If the information was an unauthorised disclosure from within policing then it would be contrary to the Code of Ethics and the person concerned should be held to account,” Chief Constable Alex Marshall, the college’s chief executive, said.

A BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC agreed to follow normal journalistic practice and not to publish a story that might jeopardise a police inquiry.”

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