Monday, May 29, 2017


With the case between Sir Cliff Richard and South Yorkshire Police settled, we now await Sir Cliff v The BBC. Sir Cliff's lawyers must feel they have the upper hand. Mr Justice Mann has agreed that the BBC, desperate to protect sources, must answer one question - whether or not its information that Sir Cliff Richard was under investigation by the South Yorkshire Police came from Operation Yewtree.

The BBC contended that it shouldn't have to, because of a risk of identifying an individual source; the judge has decided that the risk is low.

The evidence in dispute is whether or not reporter Dan Johnson knew, effectively, as much as South Yorkshire Police about the investigation, and thus forced their hands into releasing details of the planned raid, by threatening to go public with what he knew. The BBC contends that Johnson merely approached SYP with a belief that Sir Cliff was the subject of enquiry, and the SYP volunteered their co-operation on the raid on his Sunningdale flat. It denies that Johnson ever told SYP that he had been given information from a source within Operation Yewtree, or that he suggested he was in a position to broadcast a story, and might do so with or without SYP’s cooperation.

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