- Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson threatened to resign after the existence of the letters was made public.
- David Cameron called the letters a "dreadful mistake".
- The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 meant anyone convicted of paramilitary crimes was eligible for early release from prison.
- However, this did not cover those suspected of such crimes, nor did it cover people who had been charged or convicted, but who had escaped from prison.
A controversial Government scheme that assured around 190 Irish republicans they were not wanted by UK police was "systematically flawed" but not unlawful, a judge-led inquiry had found.