19th Feb 2023

Nicola Bulley search: Mordaunt says health revelations sexist and shocking

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt has described the disclosure of private information about missing mother Nicola Bulley as “sexist” and “shocking”.

Police were criticised for revealing the 45-year-old, missing since January 27, had been struggling with the menopause and alcohol issues.

Her family said they knew police were revealing the details as they asked for a stop to “appalling” speculation.

Ms Mordaunt said the Lancashire force needed to face “serious questions”.

The force released the details about Ms Bulley’s health following a press conference on Wednesday, when they said they had immediately categorised her as high-risk after she was reported missing due to “specific vulnerabilities”.

They revealed her struggles with the menopause and alcohol, saying they wanted “to avoid any further speculation”.

Her family later issued a statement, saying: “Although we know that Nikki would not have wanted this, there are people out there speculating and threatening to sell stories about her.

“This is appalling and needs to stop.”

However, Lancashire Police faced a backlash from politicians and privacy campaigners, with the prime minister and home secretary also raising concerns about Ms Bulley’s personal details being released in the public domain.

Ms Mordaunt – a former women’s minister – didn’t hold back from criticising the actions of the force over its handling of the investigation into her disappearance.

She told my Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “I think that [police] 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.”

She said the revelation of health details “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”, adding: “And I think to have it play out in this kind of environment is why people are so upset.”

Original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-64696164