Police raid Cliff Richard s house

British police last night searched a house belonging to singer Cliff Richard in connection with sexual allegations dating back to the 1980s.

South Yorkshire Police said eight officers were at the house in Berkshire, west of London, and that the allegations "involve a boy who was under the age of 16 at the time".

No one has been charged.

Sir Cliff, 73, who was not home at the time and is believed to be on holiday in Portugal, denied the allegations.

"For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online," he said in a statement.

"The allegations are completely false.

"Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen. However, the police attended my apartment in Berkshire without notice, except, it would appear, to the press.

"I am not presently in the UK but it goes without saying that I will co-operate fully should the police wish to speak to me.

"Beyond stating that today's allegation is completely false, it would not be appropriate to say anything further until the police investigation has concluded."

Police had confirmed they were searching a property in Berkshire but would not say whether it belonged to Sir Cliff.

"A search warrant was granted after police received an allegation of a sexual nature dating back to the 1980s involving a boy who was under the age of 16 at the time," police said.

"No one has been arrested and the owner of the property was not present."

The BBC later reported that it was Sir Cliff's house that was being searched and that police had removed several items from it.

The alleged offence is said to have taken place in Sheffield.

Sir Cliff is one of Britain's most popular singers.

He first entered the charts in the 1950s and has since sold 250 million records.

He was knighted by the Queen in 1995.

Sir Cliff has never married and has denied persistent rumours that he is gay.

The West Australian

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