Immigration figures: More workers came to the UK last year than ever before. Awkward...

Emma Haslett
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In 2010 the government promised to slash migration to 100,000 (Source: Getty)

Net migration rose to 260,000 in the year to June, official statistics published today showed - that's an increase of 78,000, or 43 per cent, on the year before. And the number of immigrants coming to the UK for work rose to 247,000, the highest since records began. How's David Cameron going to explain that to his Ukip-baiting party?

It's all pretty awkward for Cameron: the figures, published by the Office for National Statistics, showed net migration is now higher than the 244,000 figure when the coalition came to power in 2010.

And to add fuel to Ukip's fire, migrants from Romania - who were given free rein to travel around the EU earlier this year - was the largest group, with 104,000 new national insurance registrations, followed by Polish nationals, with 98,000 new registrations. The ONS added there had been a "statistically significant" increase in immigration among EU citizens - the total figure rose to 228,000, up from 183,000 in the year ending June 2013.

The news comes as the three traditional parties prepare to battle it out with Ukip over immigration. While Cameron has put immigration at the centre of his plans to renegotiate the UK's relationship with Brussels, European leaders have so far been resistant to his attempts to impose curbs.

In 2010, the coalition government promised to cut net migration to below 100,000 by the 2015 election. Earlier this week, Theresa May said EU migration had "blown us off course", meaning the UK is "unlikely" to meet its target for reducing immigration.

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