30-year official secrets rule may be changed to 15
The 30-year rule on government secrets should be changed to 15 years, allowing confidential papers from the Thatcher and Major administrations to be revealed, an official review is expected to recommend.
Secrets behind events such as the miners' strike, the poll tax riots and Black Wednesday may be laid bare as early as next year. A new 15-year rule would also see the battles of the first year of Tony Blair's government revealed in three years' time.
An independent review of the 30-year rule on disclosure of confidential government papers was set up by Gordon Brown in 2007, headed by Paul Dacre, editor of the 'Daily Mail'. The review team reported to the Prime Minister last year. Its findings are to be made public this month.
When the review began it was predicted the term could be cut to 20 years, but there is now speculation that it will propose 15. This timescale may seem too close for comfort to Mr Brown, who can overrule the findings. If he won the next election he could find himself in power as secrets about his clashes with Mr Blair were made public.
Confidential documents from 30 years ago are released every year by the national archives in Kew. A change would shed light on the period between 1979 and 1994, including the Falklands War and Westland helicopter affair.
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "It is ironic that when it comes to personal privacy it is a case of the Government saying you have nothing to fear, but when you apply that rationale to the idea of secrecy in Government it would seem it has rather a lot to hide."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber reach almost £154,000 on eBay
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 4 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber reach almost £154,000 on eBay
Israel-Gaza crisis: Eight killed in Gaza Strip cafe while watching World Cup semi-final
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...