Life-sentence prisoners are assessed for release by the Parole Board, but the final decision lies with the Minister for Justice. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Political factors and fears of adverse public reaction play a significant role in determining if long-serving prisoners are kept in jail, according to(...)

 Donald Trump:   his Scottish demotion does highlight another problem with state honours – the tendency for recipients to disgrace them. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

Even if Feargal Quinn’s Bill for a state honours system is accepted by all parties, he should surely think again about the award’s title. Yes, Gr(...)