Key documents from Margaret Thatcher's time in power could be released within years after a review concluded that the period of secrecy for Government records should be reduced.

The "30-year rule" governing when official papers are made public at the National Archives should be cut to 15 years, a panel of experts said.

Under one suggested timetable, papers relating to the 1981 IRA hunger strikes and the 1982 Falklands War would be released in 2011, with documents about the 1984 miners' strike following in 2012.

There was no right of access to Government records until the Public Records Act 1958 introduced a 50-year rule. This was reduced to 30 years in 1967.

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