South Yorkshire Police has reportedly accused the BBC of breaching its own editorial guidelines after the public service broadcaster turned up at a search the police were planning at the home of Sir Cliff Richard.
The force had been challenged by MPs as to how a BBC helicopter had arrived at the scene to broadcast live footage of the officers arriving at the singer’s home in Berkshire, with a search warrant following an allegation of child abuse.
In a statement, South Yorkshire Police said it had been approached by BBC journalists with information about an investigation, and defended the media's involvement in the story.
However it has insisted the original leak did not come from the force, and was not part of any publicity plans. The BBC has said it received the information from an independent source.
The force has now accused the BBC of violating its own guidelines and a letter of complaint has been sent to the director general Tony Hall.
However, the BBC is yet to receieve any formal letter of complaint.
A BBC Spokesman sent the following statement to The Drum: "A BBC journalist approached South Yorkshire Police with information about the investigation. The BBC agreed to follow normal journalistic practice and not to publish a story that might jeopardise a police inquiry."
Sir Cliff Richard has been accused of molesting a young boy when he sang in a Christian rally in 1985.