BBC denies Sir Cliff Richard's payout claim after publicity over raid on home

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BBC bosses have staged a defence after Sir Cliff Richard took legal action in the wake of reports naming him as a suspected sex offender.

They deny that the singer is entitled to the compensation he is claiming following publicity about a raid on his home.

Detail of the BBC's defence has emerged in paperwork lodged by lawyers at the High Court in London pending the start of any court hearings.

Sir Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard (Brian Lawless/PA)

The singer has sued the BBC and South Yorkshire Police in the wake of coverage of the raid - and says the BBC added "insult to injury" by entering its coverage in a "Scoop of the Year" journalism contest.

Lawyers representing Sir Cliff say he suffered "profound and long-lasting" damage.

Detail of Sir Cliff's complaints had emerged in October in paperwork lodged by his lawyers at the High Court in London.