The Home Secretary Theresa May recently prepared the way for missing the target of bringing down net migration to below 100,000 by next May, arguing it had been “blown off course” because of arrivals from within the EU.
The ONS data shows 583,000 people immigrated to the UK in the year ending June, up from the 502,000 in the previous 12 months.
The rise was driven by increases in immigration from the European Union, which was up 45,000 and outside the EU, which was up 30,000, according to statisticians.
Net migration to the UK – the difference between those arriving and leaving – was 260,000 in the period, up from 182,000 in the previous 12 months.
This is 16,000 higher than it was in the year to June 2010 when the coalition Government came to office, when it stood at 244,000.
The latest figures also revealed a “statistically significant increase” in Romanian and Bulgarian citizens arriving in the UK over the period, rising to 32,000 from 18,000 in the previous year.
Tory Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire told Sky News: “The figures indicate that people within the EU are coming here predominantly to work.
“That’s why it’s absolutely right that we do address the issues of free movement.
“But It’s also important to note that when we look at the figures from outside the EU, we are down to figures we have not seen since the late 1990s.
“So it’s that contrast as to where we have seen the impact of government policies where we have those direct levers, and obviously contrasting that with the EU picture.”
But Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “This was a Conservative preoccupation. They made that promise. They have now broken that promise and they will have to suffer the embarrassment of having done so.”