PC stolen from the office of Hazel Blears

Hazel Blears

The government has been hit by another embarrassing data theft after it emerged that a computer has been stolen from the constituency office of cabinet member Hazel Blears.

An aide at the Manchester constituency office for the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said the computer was the only item taken in the weekend burglary.

"The window was smashed. Just the computer was taken," she said.

The BBC has reported that the computer contained restricted government documents, including some on defence and extremism. While none are believed to be top secret, they were not supposed to be stored on the stolen machine.

The incident was the latest information security breach to hit the government at a time when the opposition Conservative Party accuses the government of failing to keep data secure.

A senior intelligence official left a folder containing top secret files on al Qaeda and Iraq on a commuter train last week.

In February, two laptops with patient details were stolen from a hospital in Brent, while a Police laptop was confirmed stolen from a car yesterday..

Greater Manchester Police were not immediately available to comment on the break-in.


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