Cliff Richard turns down Portuguese honour

Published Wednesday, 20 August 2014
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Sir Cliff Richard has turned down a Portuguese honour in the wake of a sex scandal back in his native England.

Cliff Richard turns down Portuguese honour

The singer, who owns property in Portugal, was to be presented with the keys to his adopted city of Albufeira, but he has chosen not to accept the honour, following his denial of a sex offence.

Earlier this month, his home in Berkshire was raided by police officers following allegations Richard sexually assaulted a boy under the age of 16 in 1985.

Denying the claims, 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. Up until now I have chosen not to dignify the false allegations with a response, as it would just give them more oxygen."

The singer was due to be awarded the Freedom of Albufeira on Wednesday, but did not attend the ceremony.

The city mayor Carlos Silva e Sousa told the Daily Telegraph: "Cliff was invited to receive the gold key of the city because he is a distinguished member of Albufeira. It's a big honour.

"We are recognising big politicians and figures in civil society. He's not here today because it was his choice.

"It doesn't change my opinion of him. We are very proud of him, he is a big man. He is a very good man and we keep that opinion... I hope to give him the award at some point."

The news comes a day after Richard's publicist revealed the singer would not be returning to Britain from Portugal for a concert at Canterbury Cathedral next month.

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