The BBC has said it will not appeal the verdict in the High Court privacy case taken by singer Cliff Richard has over its coverage of a police raid on his home.

It said appealing after losing the case "would inevitably mean an expensive legal cul-de-sac and one that would simply prolong Sir Cliff's distress".

The corporation said: "Instead the BBC is writing today to ask the Government to consider a review of the law in this important area to protect the right to properly and fairly report criminal investigations, and to name the person under investigation.

"There is a fundamental principle of press freedom at stake here and one upon which we believe Parliament, as our lawmakers, should decide." 

In a statement, the organisation repeated its apology to Mr Richard for the distress caused and said: "We fully appreciate the impact this has had on him.

"There are lessons for the BBC in how we reported this story and we will think very carefully about our approach in the future - both in tone and style.  

"We recognise there are things we got wrong - even if all the facts we reported were right." 

A spokesman for Cliff Richard said: "Sir Cliff reluctantly took his case to court because he felt his privacy had been flagrantly invaded and disappointingly the BBC were not prepared to acknowledge that and apologise.

"He welcomes the fact the BBC have decided not to seek permission to appeal from the Court of Appeal, particularly after the judge gave his judgement that they had no grounds on which to pursue such an action.

"Sir Cliff now hopes that outstanding issues can be resolved quickly."