THE Home Secretary has claimed there is no “significant increase” in the number of people migrating to the UK despite revised figures showing record levels in 2022.

Net migration to the UK in the year to December 2022 was higher than previously thought, hitting a new record of 745,000, according to revised estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

However, the figure for the year to June 2023 is estimated to be lower, at 672,000.

The ONS said it is too early to tell if this is the start of a new downward trend but that the most recent estimates indicate a slowing of immigration coupled with increasing emigration.

The previous estimate for the year to December 2022 had been 606,000, but the ONS has since revised this upwards in light of “unexpected patterns” in the behaviour of migrants.

Home Secretary James Cleverly (below) said: “This figure is not showing a significant increase from last year’s figures and is largely in line with our own immigration statistics.

The National: The Home Secretary James CleverlyThe Home Secretary James Cleverly

“The Government remains completely committed to reducing levels of legal migration while at the same time focusing relentlessly on our priority of stopping the boats.

“A priority we are already delivering on – cutting small boats arrivals by more than one third and dramatically increasing the number of asylum applications we process. This is not only the right thing to do, but what the British public want us to do.”

Maggie Morgan from the ONS said: “Our most recent migration statistics are always provisional and supported by assumptions around whether we think people will stay 12 months or more.

“We are responding to changes in a highly volatile world and our revisions reflect the unexpected patterns arising from that unpredictability. This will continue to influence our measures of uncertainty.”

The latest figures show that a total of 1.18 million people are estimated to have arrived in the UK in the year to June 2023 while 508,000 are likely to have left – leaving the net migration figure at 672,000.

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Most people arriving to the UK in the year ending June 2023 were non-EU nationals (968,000), followed by EU (129,000) and British (84,000), the ONS said.

Study remained the biggest contributor to non-EU immigration in that period, accounting for 39%, largely unchanged compared with the previous period.

The next biggest contributor to non-EU immigration was migrants coming for work – having risen to 33%, from 23% in the year ending June 2022, and largely attributed to people on health and care visas.

Arrivals of people via humanitarian routes have fallen from 19% to 9% over the same period, the ONS said, with most of these made up of Ukrainians and British Nationals (Overseas) arrivals from Hong Kong.

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The New Conservatives group of Tory MPs demanded action to bring down net migration in a strongly-worded statement.

They said: “The word ‘existential’ has been used a lot in recent days but this really is ‘do or die’ for our party.

“Each of us made a promise to the electorate. We don’t believe that such promises can be ignored.

“The Government must propose, today, a comprehensive package of measures to meet the manifesto promise by the time of the next election. We will assess any such package and report publicly on whether it will meet the promise made to the electorate.

“The Prime Minister, Chancellor and new Home Secretary must show that they stand by the promises on which we were elected to Parliament. We must act now.”