Keir Starmer 'Surprised' Lancashire Police Revealed Nicola Bulley's Personal Struggles

The Labour leader and former director of public prosecutions says he is "uncomfortable" with the decision.
Leon Neal via Getty Images

Keir Starmer has said he was “very surprised” the police decided to release information about missing Nicola Bulley’s struggles with alcohol and the menopause.

The Labour leader said he was “uncomfortable” with the disclosure of the missing mother-of-two’s vulnerabilities.

Before entering politics, Starmer served as Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) between 2008 and 2013.

Bulley vanished while walking her springer spaniel Willow in the village of St Michael’s on Wyre, Lancashire, on January 27 after dropping her two daughters at school.

Lancashire Police have come under heavy criticism for revealing the details about her “vulnerabilities” in the weeks before her disappearance that they say made her “high risk”.

They later added in a statement that she had been struggling with alcohol issues and the menopause, and had stopped taking HRT medication.

Speaking to Times Radio on Friday, Starmer said: “I was very surprised to see what the police had put out there. I was not sure why that degree of personal information was necessary.

“I think I read that they had spoken to the family about it, but I was very surprised. If there is, in the fullness of time, a good justification then so be it but I think most people would be very uncomfortable.

“I certainly felt uncomfortable with that private information being put in the public domain.”

The Home Office has also said it was receiving regular updates from Lancashire Police about its handling of the case – including “why personal details about Nicola were briefed out at this stage of the investigation”.

The Information Commissioner has announced he will be asking the force about its decision to disclose Bulley’s struggles.

John Edwards said in a statement: “Data protection law exists to ensure people’s personal information is used properly and fairly. This includes ensuring personal details are not disclosed inappropriately.

“Police can disclose information to protect the public and investigate crime, but they would need to be able to demonstrate such disclosure was necessary.

“We recognise that at this stage of an intensive, live investigation, the force must focus all their energies on the inquiry.

“But given the high-profile nature of this case, we will be asking Lancashire Police to set out how they reached the decision to disclose this information in due course.”


What's Hot