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Monday, 6 August 2018

BBC Decides Not to Appeal Cliff Privacy Judgment

The BBC has decided not to appeal the judgment in the Cliff Richard privacy case, according to reports in the weekend newspapers.

Briefly, for the benefit of newcomers, Mr Justice Mann recently ruled that the BBC breached Sir Cliff's privacy by naming him and broadcasting footage of a police search of his former Berkshire home. The BBC and South Yorkshire Police had colluded about the search of Sir Cliff's home, so that cameras were in position at the time the police entered the property.

The BBC, which was reportedly giving serious consideration to an appeal, has already incurred £1.8m costs in this case, what with having to pay Sir Cliff's legal fees and compensation as well as its own expenses.

According to reports in the wake of the High Court judgment, the BBC was giving serious consideration to incurring yet more public expense by mounting an appeal. It argues that the ruling has serious implications for freedom of the press in relation to the reporting of police investigations.

Justin Rushbrooke QC, acting for Sir Cliff, said: "It is about time the BBC took a realistic view of these facts.

"The last thing my client wants is more time and money spent dealing with this."

In an apparent, uncharacteristic turn of humility, the BBC has now decided to call it quits before squandering yet more TV licence fee payer's money.

The BBC has until 17th August to make its final decision on the matter, so there could be twists in this story before then.

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