Cliff Richard was not at home when the police came calling about a historical sex abuse allegation
Sir Cliff Richard denied sex abuse claim in statement after his home was searched by police Getty Images

Sir Cliff Richard issued a firm denial he sexually abused a boy under 16 and he hit out at "online rumours".

The 73-year-old singer went public after his home was searched by officers from South Yorkshire Police on Thursday.

They were investigating a claim that a child was molested during the 1980s. A warrant was executed to enter the star's home in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

Responding to the development, Richard said: "For many months I have been aware of allegations against me of historic impropriety which have been circulating online.

"The allegations are completely false."

Richard was not in the property when police searched it. It is understood he is in Portugal.