Government departments refused to publish 986 documents from the National Archives in 2016.
WHITEHALL has refused to release a record number of sensitive documents sparking fears that civil servants are undermining democracy.
Government departments blocked 986 documents from publication by the National Archives last year – almost double the previous record of 430 withheld in 2013.
Files relating to arms sales to India and Saudi Arabia in 1986 and 1987, when Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, were among those refused.
Other papers due to release for public inspection under the 30-year rule included a royal visit to the Middle East by Charles and Diana, the Times said.
The Advisory Council on National Records and Archives, the independent body charged with ruling on the applications, was so concerned it called a meeting with Whitehall officials.
Sir Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat leader, said it revealed a worrying increase in government secrecy that represented “an affront to our democratic ideals”.