Another embarrassing security scandal - this time for MI5 - which has now admitted that a latop containing sensitive information has been stolen.

The machine was taken after a window was left open in a house, which was being rented by the Security Services.

MI5 is insisting that all of the data on the laptop is encrypted and therefore is safe, and also believes that this was simply an opportunist thief who saw the window open at the property in Greater Manchester and tried his or her luck.

A force spokesman told The Daily Telegtaph: "Shortly after 11.20pm police were called to a house in Greater Manchester, following reports of a burglary".

"An encrypted hand-held computer was stolen. It is believed the offender entered through an open window."

This comes a week after pictures of terrorist suspects were found on a camera sold on eBay.

The Security Services are investigating both instances.