Sir Cliff Richard and Paul Gambaccini have renewed calls for suspects in criminal cases to have their anonymity protected by law unless they are formally charged with committing an offence. Both men have previously been falsely accused of historical sex offences and had joined the campaign group Falsely Accused Individuals for Reform (Fair), calling for changes to legislation. Three years ago, the pair launched a petition requiring that anyone accused of committing sexual offences should remain anonymous until they are charged, which received 27,000 signatures before it had to be abandoned. At the time, they said the changes were needed in order to "protect the reputations of all innocent suspects, whether well-known or not, from the lasting stigma of a false sexual allegation". The pair are urging the Government to include an amendment to the criminal justice bill as they believe the "law on privacy provides inadequate protection".
However, the move highlights division. Following the news last month that a conservative MP has been arrested for rape and sexual assault allegations, The Telegraph wrote an article about the dangers of observing privacy above all other rights.
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