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Liam Fox burgled ahead of Tory briefing

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 22 April 2010

Burglars have stolen the Conservative defence spokesman's car containing his mobile phone and laptop - but he tells the press no sensitive documents were taken.

Conservative shadow defence secretary Liam Fox has been burgled at his London home (Getty)

A source told Channel 4 News that Mr Fox's car was stolen from his home in south east London this morning containing sensitive equipment and information.

A mobile phone and laptop for preparation for the tonight's leaders debate in Bristol were in the car, Channel 4 News believes.

Mr Fox is understood to have been asleep when his car keys were stolen from his home. Mr Fox's wife Jesme is not believed to have been in the property because she is stuck in Hong Kong due to the travel problems caused by the ash cloud.

Mr Fox later told the press that no sensitive documents had been taken, which suggested the burglary "was entirely opportunistic". He refused to discuss any details because a police investigation was underway.

He said: "I'm not the only person in this country who's been a victim of crime - I'll have even greater sympathy in future with people who are."

He blamed the crime on "people who have no respect for the law or other people's property", and admitted that "It's not a nice feeling".

A Conservative party source told Channel 4 News Mr Fox had been intending to drive straight to tonight's leaders' debate after outlining the Conservative Party's defence manifesto at a press conference this morning.

The conference was cancelled at short notice this morning following the apparent burglary. 

Police confirmed that officers are currently investigating the scene.

"Police were called at 7:20 this morning to an address near SE1 after reports of a burglary," a spokesman said.

"Officers are currently in attendance and the burglary squad from Southwark are investigating. No arrest has been made."

The police were "not prepared to discuss the items stolen at this stage".

A Conservative spokesman confirmed Mr Fox's car was stolen. Speaking as he campaigned in Exeter, Tory leader David Cameron said: "I'm very sorry for Liam.

"I've been burgled a couple of times and it's a horrible shock, the sense that someone has been into your house and taken your things, you feel completely invaded.

"I'm thinking, obviously, about him getting everything together and sorting all that out.

"I hope the police can find who did it but I'm sure Liam will want us to get on with the plan we have today for our armed forces manifesto."

Yesterday evening Mr Fox appeared on Channel 4 News to debate nuclear disarmament with Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth and Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrats' foreign affairs spokesman.

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