It was a report from Bloomberg which first warned of the threat to the future integrity of mobile phones in the vicinity of the Prime Minister on hearing bad news:
But if Gordon Brown has been throwing mobile phones around, they would appear not to have been ones issued to him, based on replies given to parliamentary questions asked by Shadow Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude. But we do learn that any government-issue handsets which have been damaged were replaced free of charge by Vodafone…
Here's the answer Francis Maude got on February 23rd 2009:
Kevin Brennan: The Cabinet Office has recorded that of the mobile phones procured for official use under the Vodafone contracts, 11 have been reported lost, two stolen and 14 damaged during the past 18 months.
And this is his most recent exchange on the matter:
Mr. Watson: None of the 14 phones that were damaged had been issued to individuals who work in Downing street. Under the terms of the contract the Department has with Vodafone, damaged handsets are replaced free of charge on a ‘like for like’ replacement policy. The make and models of the 14 damaged mobile phones mentioned in my answer of 23 February 2009, Official Report, columns 392-93W, to the right hon. Member are given in the table: