More than 400 documents, including government files relating to the UK’s involvement in Israel’s nuclear arsenal, have gone missing over the last four years, it has been revealed.
Notable missing files include 1970s documents on nuclear collaboration with Israel, as well as a letter from Winston Churchill.
The losses include more than 60 Foreign office files, over 40 Home office documents, and six from the records of former prime ministers.
The losses were revealed by a FoI request submitted by the BBC.
A 1979 document titled “Military and nuclear collaboration with Israel: Israeli nuclear armament”, is among the missing pieces.
Since the 1950s, Israel has retained a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither publicly confirming nor denying whether it has a nuclear arsenal.
However, Israel is now thought to possess 80 nuclear warheads, built up as western governments have “played along with the policy of ‘opacity’”, as theGuardian’s Julian Borger puts it.