Denise Welch blasts ‘disgraceful’ remarks about missing Nicola Bulley

Nicola Bulley had ‘significant issues’ with alcohol say police

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Nicola Bulley has been missing since January 27 after vanishing when walking her dog by the River Wyre in Lancashire. Denise Welch is among a number of famous faces who have criticised authorities for sharing details about Ms Bulley’s struggles with alcohol and the menopause.

Lancashire Police have this week revealed the mum-of-two had been considered a high-risk missing person from the start of the investigation and claimed they were called to a concern for welfare report at her home last month.

The officers had initially refused to elaborate on what those vulnerabilities were, but later released a statement to explain this in more detail.

This read: “Nicola had in the past suffered with some significant issues with alcohol which were brought on by her ongoing struggles with the menopause and that these struggles had resurfaced over recent months.”

“This caused some real challenges for Paul and the family,” it added in a reference to Ms Bulley’s partner, Paul Ansell.

Denise, 64, reacted to This Morning Emma Kenny, who shared an article regarding the press conference from Lancashire Police, in view of her Twitter fans and wrote: “To say this is HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE is a major understatement!!! Nicola Bulley DID NOT NEED THIS PUTTING INTO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN!!!! This is a distraction from mistakes made END OF #nicolabulley.”

The Loose Women panellist quote-tweeted Emma’s message and added: “It’s an absolute disgrace!!!”

Denise was not alone in her criticism of the Lancashire Police, with Fern telling her followers: “I am uncomfortable with the latest news suggesting that Nicola Bulley has an issue with alcohol and menopause.

“The undertone is that she may be ‘a bit unstable’ or perhaps even ‘not in her right mind.’ Too easy to write a woman off like this. What lies behind it?”

Comedian Janey Godley retweeted Fern’s message to her own followers.

Tamzin Outhwaite has also shared her fury, writing on her Instagram stories today: “Fuming. Police have no idea so let’s point the finger at the victim and talk about our hormones and alcohol. I think many of us can relate to being a mum, peri menopausal and like to have wine – but headlines like this are a classic example of misogynistic c**p.”

She accompanied her message with a photo Ms Bulley, alongside an article that read: “Nicola Bulley: Police say missing mum had alcohol issues and struggled with menopause before the disappearance.”

The decision from Lancashire Police to reveal Ms Bulley’s issues has also received a furious backlash from some MPs.


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Labour’s Stella Creasy tweeted: “The decision to disclose this level of detail on a missing person’s private life, with no evidence that this is assisting in finding her, is deeply troubling.

“The police need to be much clearer as to why any of this helps find Nicola Bulley or support this investigation.”

Conservative MP Alicia Kearns wrote she was “deeply uncomfortable” with police releasing details about Ms Bulley’s “so called ‘vulnerabilities’ on menopause and alcohol”.

Detective Superintendent Rebecca Smith has since criticised social media speculation on the case during a press conference held yesterday.

She said it had “significantly distracted the police”, adding: “TikTokers have been playing their own private detectives. In 29 years of police service, I have never seen anything like it. Some of it’s been quite shocking, and really hurtful to the family.”

The detective, who is the senior investigating officer on the case, said they were “really, really grateful to members of the public for ringing in to the inquiry, we wouldn’t have gotten this far without everybody’s help. But I think it’s also really obvious that we are being inundated with false information, accusations and rumours which is distracting us from our work.”

Ms Bulley had “significant issues with alcohol” in the past – and had even attended a report of concern for welfare at her home address 17 days before she disappeared.

The service revealed the personal details after saying in a press conference on February 15 that Ms Bulley had “specific vulnerabilities” that made her a “high-risk” missing person.

Referring to Ms Bulley’s partner Paul, police said these issues “caused some real challenges for Paul and the family.”

Police acknowledged that it was unusual for them to reveal such personal information about a missing person. However, they said they wanted to explain what they meant by referring to specific “vulnerabilities”.

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