The MoD has admitted to losing an astonishing 659 laptops since 2004.

And this is just the machines that were reported stolen.

A further 89 were simply reported as lost.

The 659th stolen laptop belonged to an MoD official was taken from the Britannia Adelphi Hotel in Liverpool last Thursday.

It is believed to contain sensitive information but an MoD spokesman said the laptop was encrypted and Merseyside Police were investigating the theft.

The shocking figures were issued by defence secretary Des Browne.

They are almost twice the original figure published by the Ministry and were revised after "anomalies in the reporting process" were discovered.

Browne said that the number of missing laptops has now totalled 748 for the past 4 years.

Of these, only 32 have been recovered.

The ministry also revealed last week that 121 of its USB memory sticks have been either lost or stolen since 2004.