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NUJ calls on BBC to appeal against Cliff Richard verdict

19 July 2018

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:"The National Union of Journalists believes the BBC must appeal  against the decision in the Cliff Richard libel case.The judgement has serious implications for media freedom in the UK, and the coverage of criminal cases in future, therefore an appeal warrants broader support from the media industry which will be affected by this verdict.

"Journalists should be free to report on ongoing police investigations and they do so on a daily basis without any threat to individual rights.

"Journalists must always be careful in balancing rights when reporting matters under police investigation but today’s judgement goes beyond what is reasonable in stating that the very act of naming Sir Cliff Richard, a very well known public figure, was unlawful and establishes a legal precedent which, if allowed to stand, would impede journalism as well as putting such celebrities at risk of falsely inflated rumours circulating on the internet and elsewhere."

A BBC spokesperson said the BBC was still considering whether to appeal.

Tags: , bbc, cliff richards