The Guardian: Cliff Richard has won his privacy case against the BBC and will be awarded an initial payment of £210,000 in damages, over the broadcaster’s report that the singer was being investigated about historical child sexual assault claims.
In a decision that the BBC warned represented a serious blow to press freedom, Mr Justice Mann awarded Richard £190,000 damages. The singer was awarded a further £20,000 in aggravated damages for the corporation’s decision to nominate its story for the Royal Television Society’s scoop of the year award.
The judgment, handed down in central London on Wednesday morning, came almost four years after the BBC broke the news that South Yorkshire police had searched the singer’s home in relation to the accusation.
The Telegaph: Theresa May has warned that giving suspects anonymity will hamper police investigations after Sir Cliff Richard won a landmark High Court privacy battle against the BBC.
The Prime Minister said that publishing the name of a suspect “enables other potential victims to come forward” in some cases and therefore “strengthens the case against an individual”.
Her comments were at odds with the High Court ruling that created a new precedent by accusing the BBC of breaching Sir Cliff’s privacy and awarding the star more than £200,000 in damages after the corporation broadcast a police search of his home.
Sir Cliff was never arrested following a child sex allegation made against him, and Mr Justice Mann said the BBC had infringed the star’s privacy rights in a “serious and sensationalist way”.
The BBC said the judgement represented a “dramatic shift against press freedom” and is considering appealing the judgment. Mrs May was asked in Parliament to consider a new “Cliff’s law” giving all suspects anonymity before they are charged. But May said: “This is a difficult issue, it does have to be dealt with sensitively.