Cliff Richard investigation 'increased significantly and involves more than one allegation', says police chief

Cliff Richard has called the allegations "absurd" and "untrue".

The police investigation into singer Sir Cliff Richard has “increased significantly in size” and involves “more than one allegation”, a police chief has revealed.

South Yorkshire's Chief Constable David Crompton said he could not give a date for when the probe would end, due to its “expanding nature”.

Sir Cliff, 74, has hit back at the claims put against him, which he said were “absurd and untrue”.

Last year, police interviewed the singer under caution regarding a claim of a sex crime involving a young boy in the 1980s, but he was not arrested or charged.

In a letter to chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, Mr Crompton said the force was in regular contact with Sir Cliff’s lawyers.

But the entertainer said in a statement that he had not been given details of the allegations against him.

Sir Cliff said: "“I have no idea where these absurd and untrue allegations come from. The police have not disclosed details to me. I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident that the truth will prevail. I have cooperated fully with the police, and will, of course, continue to do so.

"Beyond stating that the allegations are completely false, it would not be appropriate for me to say anything further until the investigation has concluded, which I hope will be very soon. In the meantime, I would, again, like to thank everyone for supporting me through this unbelievably difficult period," the statement said.

Mr Crompton’s letter, which was dated 10 February, came after an independent report found that a deal between South Yorkshire Police and the BBC "certainly interfered" with the singer’s privacy and "may well have caused unnecessary distress".

The agreement saw the police raid on the singer’s home broadcast live around the world.

Former chief constable Andy Trotter said South Yorkshire Police (SYP) should never have a made a deal with the broadcaster - a decision taken after BBC reporter Dan Johnson went to the force saying he knew they were investigating the veteran entertainer.

Mr Crompton said a Metropolitan Police investigation into the leak to the BBC had been unable to find the source.

In his letter, Mr Crompton said: "South Yorkshire Police detectives are in very regular contact with Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers. Typically this involves a verbal update about once a fortnight.

"We have not written directly to Sir Cliff Richard. It is the responsibility of his lawyers to ensure he is fully briefed on the conversations which have taken place with investigators.

“This is an investigation which has increased significantly in size since its inception. Sir Cliff Richard's lawyers are aware that there is more than one allegation."

He added: "In view of the expanding nature of the investigation, it would be premature and potentially misleading to predict a likely date when it will be concluded; however, we are progressing as swiftly as possible."

Two paragraphs of the letter from Mr Crompton were blacked out before being released.

Mr Trotter's report cleared SYP of publicity-seeking over the raid on Sir Cliff's Berkshire apartment.

Mr Trotter concluded: “I am content that those involved at SYP were motivated by trying to ensure the integrity of the investigation and by no other consideration.

”I came across nothing to suggest that the force was seeking publicity or involved in any improper relationships with the media.

"However, through a failure to foresee the consequences of their decisions, they put the force in a position which was difficult to defend and which could, and should, have been avoided."

Additional reporting by PA