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Is it Coalition policy to cut net immigration to "tens of thousands"? Nick Clegg says no. Home Office says yes.

Tim Montgomerie

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Just interviewed on BBC1's Politics Show by Andrew Neil, Nick Clegg explicity said it was not government policy to cut net immigration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. The Deputy Prime Minister said it was only an "aspiration". "It is not," Mr Clegg said, "a Coalition Government objective to pursue a numerical target."

Although Mr Clegg is correct to say the "tens of thousands" commitment wasn't in the Coalition Agreement it was in the background papers for the Queen's Speech and has been constantly stated as a policy objective by the Prime Minister (here) and by the Home Secretary Theresa May in the House of Commons (here), and Immigration Minister, Damian Green (here). Five minutes ago I was told by a senior Tory that Coalition immigration policy is working towards reducing immigration to the tens of thousands.

Perhaps Mr Clegg hasn't been keeping up to speed with his red boxes or someone is not being straight with voters?


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