Nicola Bulley personal disclosures by police ‘shocking’ – Penny Mordaunt

Nicola Bulley personal disclosures by police ‘shocking’ – Penny Mordaunt

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt described the disclosure of private information about missing mother-of-two Nicola Bulley by police tasked with investigating her disappearance as “shocking”.

Lancashire Constabulary has come under fire for making Ms Bulley’s struggles with alcohol and peri-menopause public, three weeks after she vanished following a walk near the River Wyre.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has contacted police leaders about the investigation as the Prime Minister said he too was “concerned” by the revelation.

Nicola Bulley missing
Police officer walk in St Michael’s on Wyre as the search from missing Nicola Bulley continues (Jason Roberts/PA)

Appearing on the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme, Ms Mordaunt described the ordeal as “horrific” for the family, saying: “It’s quite shocking. And I think that both the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary are right to raise concerns about this.”

She added: “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 whether police displayed sexism in their dealing with the case, 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.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper also raised concerns about the case, saying there is a wider problem with how the police deal with misogyny.

Nicola Bulley missing
Flowers and ribbons on a bridge over the River Wyre in St Michael’s on Wyre (Jason Roberts/PA)

Ms Cooper, who also contacted the force about the level of detail it released about the missing mother’s personal life, said she had received “further information” from the force.

She did not expand on the information she had been given, saying the focus should remain on the search for Ms Bulley and the review launched by the Information Commissioner, who is now looking into how the disclosure was handled.

But she said: “I think we should almost sort of put this case aside… There is a wider issue about the way in which the police has dealt with particularly violence against women and girls, and of course with standards around misogyny and around approaches towards violence and abuse within police forces themselves.

“We’ve obviously had the terrible cases of Wayne Couzens and David Carrick, neither of whom should have been police officers, and where really standards have not been high enough.”

In a press conference on Wednesday, Lancashire Police revealed Ms Bulley was classed as a “high-risk” missing person immediately after her partner reported her disappearance “based on a number of specific vulnerabilities”.

They later added in a statement that the mother-of-two had been struggling with alcohol issues and peri-menopause, and had stopped taking her HRT medication.

Lancashire Police confirmed a date had been set for an internal review into the investigation.

A police spokeswoman said: “A review of the investigation is diarised and will be conducted by our head of crime detective Chief Superintendent Pauline Stables.”