Former priest supporting Sir Cliff Richard in abuse crisis

A former Catholic priest is believed to be one of those supporting singer Sir Cliff Richard as he faces an historic allegation of abusing a boy.

Sir Cliff, who vehemently denies the abuse claim, is often in the company of former priest John McElynn, who is one of the supporters dubbed “Team Cliff”.

The singer’s Berkshire home was raided and searched by police last week, as part of an investigation into an alleged sexual assault on an underage boy at an evangelical rally in 1985.

Sir Cliff is currently staying at his Portuguese vineyard retreat.

In his biography “My Life, My Way”, Sir Cliff said that soon after they met, Mr McElynn agreed to help manage his charitable projects.

“Our arrangement has worked out really well,” he said.

“John now spends most of his time looking after my properties, which means I don’t have to.

“John and I have over time struck up a close friendship. He has also become a companion, which is great because I don’t like living alone.”

All of Sir Cliff’s properties are now managed by Mr McElynn, who has lived with him ever since his manager, Bill Latham, moved out after 30 years.

Meanwhile, the BBC has been accused of participating in a witch-hunt over the way it covered the raid on Sir Cliff’s home.

It used knowledge of the investigation to leverage exclusive coverage of the raid.

The BBC filmed and broadcast the raid live from a helicopter which was flying above Sir Cliff’s residence before the officers arrived.

South Yorkshire police admitted they had struck a deal with the broadcaster after a BBC reporter learned of their investigation into Sir Cliff and approached the force with the story, weeks before the raid.

In a bid to ensure the BBC did not jeopardise the investigation, the force said they had reluctantly given the broadcaster exclusive information in advance of the raid, enabling it to be shown live on TV.

Among those who have voiced their concerns is broadcaster Sir Michael Parkinson, who said the BBC’s actions “would have done the reds top credit”.

Sir Cliff said he is yet to hear from police.


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