'30-year rule' on secret records should be halved, says UK inquiry

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The length of time confidential government records remain secret should be halved to 15 years as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of the rules that control the release of sensitive official information to the public, an independent inquiry ruled yesterday.

The recommendation, from a review panel headed by Daily Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre, would see the earlier publication of records on key events from the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major such as the Falklands War, the miners' strike, and the process that led to the Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland. Such documents are currently kept secret for 30 years after they are written.

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