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Shabana Mahmood MP, Labour's Shadow Home Office Minister, commenting on immigration figures published today, said:

"These figures reveal the gulf between the Government's rhetoric on immigration, and the reality we see in the official figures.

"Since an immigration cap was introduced by the Government, the number of work-related visas issued has gone up. Net migration, the Government's measure for its pledge to reduce net migration to the tens of thousands, now stands at 239,000.

"The Prime Minister said 'no ifs, no buts' on immigration, but on the contrary 'ifs and buts' sum up the Government's policies.

"The Government is not being honest with the British public. They have shown a keen interest in hyperbole around immigration, doing everything they can to make it a party political issue, but they are busy further eroding trust in Government's ability to manage it.

"Cuts to the UK Border Agency forcing the loss of over 5,000 staff is making it harder not easier to enforce the rules we have. It just goes to show the Government is turning its back on the fight against illegal immigration too, its rhetoric simply does not match the reality."

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