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A laptop belonging to Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, has been stolen.

His car was also taken after thieves broke into his home in Southwark and stole the keys along with the computer and his mobile phone.

Police were called to the property at 7.20am this morning but made no arrests. Fox had been at home alone.

The Tory party was unable to say what was on the laptop. Fox was forced to abandon the launch of his armed forces manifesto today.

The Ministry of Defence, which Fox would be in charge of under a Conservative government, has been the culprit of many serious data losses in recent years, including the personal details of 800,000 armed forces applicants and three unencrypted laptops. ®

This story originally said Fox had left the laptop in the car, based on a BBC report. A Conservative spokeswoman said this was incorrect.

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