It was decided there was insufficient evidence to prosecute
Sir Cliff Richard is to face no further action following a controversial South Yorkshire Police investigation into allegations of historical sexual abuse.
The Crown Prosecution Service reviewed evidence relating to claims of sex offences made by four men against the 75-year-old singer dating between 1958 and 1983.
However, it has decided there is "insufficient evidence to prosecute".
Sir Cliff said he is "obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close".
Martin Goldman, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Yorkshire and Humberside, said: "This decision has been made in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on cases of sexual offences. The CPS worked with police during the investigation. This has helped minimise the time needed to reach a decision once we received the complete file of evidence on 10 May. The complainants have been informed and provided with a full explanation in writing."
South Yorkshire Police has apologised "wholeheartedly for the additional anxiety caused" to Sir Cliff by the force's "initial handling of the media interest" in its investigation into the singer.
In a statement, Sir Cliff said: "I have always maintained my innocence, co-operated fully with the investigation, and cannot understand why it has taken so long to get to this point! Nevertheless, I am obviously thrilled that the vile accusations and the resulting investigation have finally been brought to a close. Ever since the highly-publicised and BBC-filmed raid on my home I have chosen not to speak publicly. Even though I was under pressure to 'speak out', other than to state my innocence, which was easy for me to do as I have never molested anyone in my life, I chose to remain silent. This was despite the widely-shared sense of injustice resulting from the high-profile fumbling of my case from day one. Other than in exceptional cases, people who are facing allegations should never be named publicly until charged. I was named before I was even interviewed and for me that was like being hung out like 'live bait'. It is obvious that such strategies simply increase the risk of attracting spurious claims which not only tie up police resources and waste public funds, but they forever tarnish the reputations of innocent people."