The HomeAffairs Committee considered the behaviour of the BBC in filming a raid on Cliff Richard's home. It seemed to be an outage to me then and it still is.
There is no full transcript of the Lord Hall evidence session from September 2014.
The main conclusions of the Committee are:
It is clear that South Yorkshire Police’s exchanges with the BBC went far beyond confirming the date of the search of Sir Cliff’s home. The Force played an active part in providing the BBC with detailed information which would allow it to secure exclusive coverage of the search.
Detailed knowledge of the investigation, beyond the name of the suspect clearly points to a leak from within Operation Yewtree and it is therefore surprising that Chief Constable Crompton did not seek to contact the Metropolitan Police soon after the approach from Mr Johnson to alert them to the possible leak and invite them to investigate.
It would have been open to South Yorkshire Police to decide to publicise the name of the subject of this investigation had they chosen to do so for operational reasons. However, the naming of suspects (or the confirming of a name when it is put to a force) when there is no operational need to do so is wrong.
South Yorkshire Police have told us that they did not want to publicise their investigation, but offered the BBC information about the search warrant as part of a compromise in which the BBC did not broadcast prematurely the information its reporter had. Senior BBC executives told us that the Chief Constable had only to pick up the phone and they would not have broadcast the story, a sensible editorial policy which should reduce the scope for conflict between legitimate journalistic activity and law enforcement, and which we are happy to endorse and publicise here.
We are disappointed by South Yorkshire Police’s inept handling of this situation. Whereas it is clear that the Force felt from the outset that it had to cooperate with the BBC in order to avoid jeopardising the investigation, its cooperation went far beyond notifying the BBC of the date, the Force failed to go to senior managers at the BBC to explain the risks inherent in premature broadcasting of the story, and it failed to alert the Metropolitan Police to the possibility of a leak from within Operation Yewtree.
It is clear that Sir Cliff Richard has personally suffered enormous, irreparable damage to his reputation, though he has been neither arrested nor charged with any offence. No citizen should have to watch on live television their home being raided in this way.