PM sticks to his target as immigration hits 300,000

David Cameron insisted today that his ambition is still to reduce net migration to under 100,000 a year despite official figures showing the number has soared to over 300,000. Net migration is now three times more than the Conservatives promised it would be by the general election as migrants from around the world head to Britain for work. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show net migration rose by more than 100,000 to reach 318,000 in the year to the end of December - a figure just below the peak reached a decade ago. Net migration from both the EU and non-EU rose with numbers from outside the union now at the highest level since 2011. The prime minister admitted that the figures, which make grim reading for the Home Office, showed just “how far we have to go to reach our goal”. As he announced proposals for new measures to tackle illegal working, he said: “They show that, more than ever, this country needs a majority Conservative government which really aims to get net migration into the tens of thousands, and that should remain our ambition.” In the previous parliament, Mr Cameron promised “no ifs, no buts” that net migration would be under 100,000 by the time of the election. Today, he blamed the Liberal Democrats for not being fully behind his drive to reduce numbers. “It’s disappointing that we haven’t made more progress, but I take these figures as a clear instruction to deliver and t

  • Armed police block the street as Hatton Garden heist suspects arrive at court Rob Stothard
    1 of 3
  • The eight men arrived under police escort to Westminster Magistrates Court Will Oliver
    2 of 3
  • Eight people appeared in court this morning over the raid at Hatton Gardens Getty Images
    3 of 3

New arrest as Hatton suspects in dock

Liverpool put Sterling talks on hold over agent claims

Liverpool have cancelled talks with Raheem Sterling’s representative, Aidy Ward, following the emergence of a controversial newspaper report in which the player’s agent is claimed to have said his client will not sign a new deal with the Merseyside club under any circumstances. In the most telling indication yet of the seriousness of the breakdown in relations between the two camps, Liverpool informed Ward they believe a meeting would be pointless given the nature of the outspoken comments attributed to the Kent-based agent in the London Evening Standard. Although Ward has since denied making the remarks and is understood to be considering his legal options, the newspaper has stuck by its story and is continuing to run it on its website. As a result, Liverpool feel the entire process has been compromised by such an unseemly sequence of events and have c

Last updated at 12:07PM, May 21 2015

Cameron appoints ex-Times writer

David Cameron has appointed Camilla Cavendish, associate editor and columnist for The Sunday Times and former Times columnist, to lead his Downing Street policy unit. The prime minster will announce today that Ms Cavendish, a contemporary at Oxford, will take charge of political strategy at No 10. She replaces Jo Johnson, the brother of Boris Johnson, who was made universities minister in a post-election reshuffle. Mr Cameron has also promoted Craig Oliver, his former director of communications, as part of the shake-up. While retaining his media role, he will be given new responsibility for the co-ordination and implementation of domestic policy. Ed Llewellyn, the prime minister’s chief of staff, will remain in his role despite previous suggestions that he could depart to take up a diplomatic role. Catherine Fall, known as Kate, will continue as his

Last updated at 1:37PM, May 21 2015

Leading Articles

The Times
  • Quality of Death

    Our reluctance to talk about the end of life means that thousands are departing it in hospital when they should be at home

  • Thirsty California

    Switching off sprinklers will not save the state from drought. It must invest in water

  • Dench (Obvs)

    New Scrabble words are testament to the constant inventiveness of English speakers

Charles visits church at forefront of historic tensions

Prince of Wales

St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Belfast became a flashpoint during loyalist marching after Protestant marchers sang anti-Irish songs outside

Sponsored Editorial

New BMW 3 Series

Enjoy the ultimate summer season

Your chance to enjoy the ultimate summer season with BMW

Win a BMW 3 Series for the summer plus trips to top sporting events

National Business Awards

Showcasing achievement

National Business Awards

Rewarding success through innovation from entreprenuers to SMEs and FTSE100

Go West

Where history and culture collide

Ballooning over Bristol

Find out why Bristol is a must-visit this spring and win an overnight stay for two with lots of activities


Celebrate Latitude’s 10th anniversary

Find out who is headlining and what is new about this year’s festival


Defying the odds

Forest and mountains of Cyprus

A nation on the road to recovery

Independent Spirit

Enter the wild

Northumberland: Have a wild time

From scenic walks to stargazing nights, Northumberland has a hundred and one ways to take your breath away

Power of Scotland

Trawling for hidden value

How seismic mapping unlocks further reserves

Africa Travel

Your indespensible guide to Africa

Africa Travel is the acknowledged specialist to Africa

Africa Travel has more than 30 years of experience providing every trip imaginable to spectacular destinations

Business Insight

Slam Dunk

Why FanDuel fantasy sport is a big winner in the US

City Business

Getting started

Thinking of setting up a business abroad? Don’t go anywhere without consulting this guide

RAF Recruitment

A life less ordinary

Kai joined the RAF Reserves

Realise your potential in the RAF Reserves


Colombia’s city of opportunity

What does the future hold for business investment and tourism development?

Labour mustn’t fall for Blairite fairytales

Jenni Russell: The public spending spree of the Blair years, when the economy was booming, masked the choice the party has to make

How sweet to see Rose blooming on stage again

Janice Turner: Watching Imelda Staunton tear up the stage, it was hard to believe Sondheim created Rose, the crazed stage-mom, back in 1959

What’s lurid yellow and makes you sneeze? Ask the EU

Madsen Pirie: Rapeseed has flourished because of unwelcome subsidies from Europe, but many hay fever sufferers curse the yellow flowers

The days of strikes delivering a knockout blow are long gone

Oliver Kamm: There are very good reasons for doubting how effective the proposed union strikes in the autumn and the bank holiday rail strikes will be

Ancient treasures at risk as Isis seize Syria’s Palmyra

Hadrian’s Gate in Palmyra

Militants threaten to destroy some of the Middle East’s most treasured artefacts

Putin tightens grip on internet in Russia

The head of Russia’s media watchdog has threatened Google, Facebook and Twitter with fines and bans unless they end “lawless actions”

Janice Dickinson sues Bill Cosby after rape denials

In legal papers filed yesterday, Miss Dickinson says that she has been “re-victimised” because of pointed denials by Cosby’s lawyer

Parcel hopes fail to stack up for Royal Mail

The parcels business much trumpeted at the time of privatisation has failed to offset declining letter volumes for Royal Mail

Complex charges deter bank customers from switching

Business and personal current account holders struggle with a lack of clarity and low expectations of the benefits of switching, according to the CMA

Retail sales rise as householders feather nests

Sales of sofas and other big-ticket household goods led a rise in retail sales figures as confidence returned to consumers

Golden payoff and discount groceries for ex-Tesco chief

Philip Clarke retired on a £658,000 pension, £1.2 million compensation and a 10 per cent discount on his Tesco groceries for life

Taxman chasing Ecclestone for £1 billion

F1 chief executive braced for fresh court battle as Inland Revenue pursues him

Hamilton tops Monaco timesheets to show worth

Niki Lauda said the Briton is worth his new contract after he topped the timesheets but inevitably Nico Rosberg was nestled up against his team-mate

Lancaster opts for long-term view by omitting Armitage

Owen Slot says that player power helped head coach to make tough call when naming his 50-man training squad for the World Cup

Some big questions for Burnham and Cooper

Philip Collins: following Ed’s defeat, MPs are trying to persuade us that Labour had a prospective prime minister in their ranks all along

Is well-suited Umunna playing a clever game?

Danielle Sheridan: it’s a sensible move to pull out of the contest and play the long game. Chuka knows Ed Miliband’s successor faces a difficult task

Chancellor makes the most of Britain’s deflation

Philip Aldrick: it is making life easy for George Osborne, who – presumably in high spirits – clearly feels he can afford to be a little economical with the truth

All change in the ranks of Team Osborne

Callum Jones: the figure once labelled a liability by members of his own party is now the man to beat in the race to become its next leader

Hodgson names new faces in depleted squad

Charlie Austin of QPR celebrates his third goal

Uncapped trio of Tom Heaton, Charlie Austin and Jamie Vardy called up

Van Praag exit boosts Blatter re-election bid

The Dutch FA president has withdrawn from next Friday’s Fifa presidential election, leaving Prince Ali and Luís Figo up against Sepp Blatter

Dick Advocaat hails Sunderland escape

Video highlights: Manager praises his side’s resilience after successful survival push leaves Dutchman in tears at final whistle against Arsenal

The Times Diary: Waite’s poem is no pig’s ear

Terry Waite, the former envoy for the archbishop of Canterbury, has published his first comic novel, The Voyage of the Golden Handshake

Letters: The thinking behind fossil-fuel divestment

Divestment is not against energy use. Rather, it is about weakening the political power of fossil fuel companies which lobby against renewable energy

Analysis: Osama bin Laden read Chomsky for light relief

Osama bin Laden read accounts of the 9/11 attacks, conspiracy theories involving satanic bloodlines and aaccounts of CIA experiments with LSD

Sketch: Tristram sets pace on the road to nowhere

Tristram arrived, tall and rangy, freckled, sandy hair in a slicked-up cowlick. The hair said ‘leadership bid’ - why bother otherwise?

Opera Holland Park: taking on Glyndebourne

Interview with the two men behind Opera Holland Park, succeeding on a tight budget

9 films that influenced Goodfellas

It’s one of the most influential crime movies, but what of Goodfellas’ own influences? Some you’d expect, some not so much...

10 greatest films Hollywood never finished

Financing disasters, nervous studios and fans can all lead to the collapse of a movie

Luxury break: win a holiday for two in the Caribbean

This trip to the island of Nevis comes complete with a stay in a private villa that has its own infinity pool, a secluded massage room and fitness facility

Free eBooks: every month for members with Kindle

As part of your membership you can enjoy this special offer. This month’s book is All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939-45 by Max Hastings

Stadium visits: discounts on days out all year round

We’ve got offers on a huge range of days out across the country, including tours at the stadia of Chelsea FC, Manchester United and Liverpool FC

Exclusive offer: Royal Ascot race preview

Join Alan Lee as he hosts a very special evening at Royal Ascot racecourse on June 9, the week before the world-famous Royal Ascot meeting

Encounters Dating: find love through what you love

Join free to meet thousands of other like-minded readers

Times Currency Services powered by World First

Providing a secure, simple and efficient way of making international currency transfers while saving you money in the process

The Times Print Gallery: own a piece of history

Purchase your favourite prints from our famed cartoonists, as well as famous and popular photographs from The Times Archive