Nicola Bulley: Penny Mordaunt ‘shocked’ over police disclosures

Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt  (PA Wire)
Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt (PA Wire)

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt said it was “shocking” for police to reveal information about Nicola Bulley’s alcohol problems.

Ms Bulley, a mortgage adviser, vanished on January 27 on her morning dog walk after dropping her daughters, aged nine and six, at school in St Michael’s on Wyre.

Lancashire Police faced a backlash over its revelation this week that Nicola had "issues with alcohol" due to symptoms from perimenopause.

Officers have linked her vulnerabilities to their working theory that she fell in the River Wyre.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was "concerned that private information was put into the public domain" following disclosures about her alcohol problems.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, Labour MP Ms Mordaunt said the Prime Minister is right to be concerned.

She added: “I mean, the first thing I felt was for her family. I mean, it’s bad enough having had your loved one go missing, but to have had all the additional drama that’s accompanied this very tragic case is horrific.

“And I think it really does grate with a lot of women and we have to put up with all kinds of sexist behaviour in all kinds of settings. And I think to have it play out in this kind of environment is why people are so upset.”

Asked if it was sexist for the police to reveal the information, Ms Mordaunt said: “I think that they clearly were motivated to try and explain why this case is a complex one. But I think there are serious questions to be asked about why they wanted to reveal particular information.”

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, has already spoken with Lancashire police, which faced a backlash over the statement and allegations that it was placing an attempt to salvage its reputation over the missing woman’s privacy.

The force, which has so far refused to bring in external colleagues to look into its investigation, could face a fine if a review by the information commissioner uncovers a data law breach.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has said he was “surprised” to hear the police reveal such sensitive information.