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Cameron remains committed to reducing migration

Reducing immigration figures "down to the tens of thousands" remains the Prime Minister's ambition, an official spokesman for David Cameron said.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg claimed new figures released today showing an increase in migration to the UK would undermine public confidence in the immigration system.

But an official spokesman for Mr Cameron dismissed the claims saying: "What you have had the Government doing is taking measures that are important and you have a Prime Minister who has already said that he is going to talk about further measures that are needed."

He added: "Getting to the tens of thousands absolutely remains his objective. It is something he is determined to keep working on."


Police: Girls were taken specifically to be sexually exploited

Police have praised the courage of the teenage girls who gave evidence in the trail.

They were aged between 13 and 17 at the time of the offences.

Not all the victims knew each other but some had heard of each other. Some of the victims were being 'passed around' by the defendants and taken to venues specifically to be sexually exploited, sometimes for money.

– Gary Stephens, Detective Inspector

I'd like to stress how important it is to remember that such vulnerable victims often don't realise they're being abused and don't recognise the signs of abuse

Some of the victims in the second trial believed they were in 'relationships' with the defendants, adding to the complexity of their vulnerability.

The victims showed remarkable courage in giving evidence at this trial.

– Julian Moss, Chief Superintendent, head of Avon and Somerset Police's CID department

Miliband: Cameron has 'spectacularly broken' migration pledge

Labour leader Ed Miliband Credit: PA Wire

David Cameron has "spectacularly broken" his promise to the British people on net migration, Labour leader Ed Miliband said.

It comes after new figures showed net migration to the UK rose to 260,000 in the year to June, up 78,000 on the previous year.

Laying out his party's immigration plans, Mr Miliband said: "We are not going to make promises we can't keep but we do have a plan to deal with people's concerns, like saying you have to wait two years if you come into Britain from the EU to get benefits."

He added: "What we are not going to do is what David Cameron has done. He made a promise and had no idea how he was going to keep the promise."

Abuse ring exploited teenage girl social workers left living alone

Defendants in the Bristol abuse ring were tried in two separate trials at Bristol Crown Court this year.

The first trial centred on a group of Somali drug dealers in Bristol and their exploitation of primarily one teenage girl.

She had been moved into a flat on her own in Bristol and left almost unsupervised by social workers from outside the city.

Liban Abdi, 21, Mustapha Farah, 21, Arafat Osman, 20, Idleh Osman, 22, Abdulahi Aden, 20, Said Zakaria, 22, Mustafa Deria, 22, and Mohamed Jama, 20, were all jailed for between 18 months and 13 years for either child sexual exploitation or drugs offences.

The second trial focused on another group of young Somali men - but included Zakaria, whose nickname was 'Target' - and their grooming and subsequent sexual abuse of young girls in Bristol.

Mohamed Jumale, 24, Mohamed Dahir, 22, Zakaria, Jusuf Abdizirak, 20, Omar Jumale, 20, Abdirashid Abdulahi, 21 and Sakariah Sheik, 21, were all convicted of child sexual exploitation offences. They will be sentenced tomorrow.

The shocking case can only be reported now after restrictions placed upon the media were lifted at the conclusion of the second trial.


Foreign Office: Two embassy staff killed in Kabul blast

A British national civilian security team member and an Afghan national working for the Embassy were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

A British national civilian security team member died in the attack in Kabul. Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Ismail

In a statement Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond praised "the courage and perseverance of the people of Afghanistan and members of the international community who support them, who have lived together through decades of conflict."

He added: "We will not allow such inhumanity to deter us from continuing our partnership with the Government of Afghanistan. I have nothing but admiration for the staff of the Embassy, British and Afghan, who work at great personal risk to help build a better future for Afghanistan."

Foreign Secretary condemns suicide attack in Kabul

One British national and one Afghan working for the embassy were killed during an attack on a vehicle in Kabul this morning, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.

Mr Hammond also condemned the attack on Twitter and said his thoughts are with the victims.

Vulnerable girls as young as 13 'passed around' Bristol sex ring

Victims as young as 13 were preyed upon, sexually abused and passed around the men's friends for money as part of a sex ring orchestrated by 13 Somali men in Bristol.

Several of the girls were groomed to the extent they believed abuse was part of loving relationships they were having with the defendants.

Some were persuaded to have sex with their 'boyfriend's' friends as it was Somali "culture and tradition" and "men always have sex with each other's girlfriends".

The victims, described as "vulnerable" due to their age and circumstances, were paid as little as £30 or given drugs, alcohol and gifts to perform sex acts on older men.

The men were found guilty at Bristol Crown Court. Credit: PA

Avon and Somerset Police uncovered a two-year catalogue of abuse against 10 girls during their investigation into the Somali men, codenamed Operation Brooke. A total of 14 were convicted of charges including rape, sexual activity with a child, facilitating child prostitution, trafficking, paying for the sexual services of a child and drug offences.

Eight of the defendants were jailed for between 18 months and 13 years this summer. The remaining seven, convicted by a jury yesterday following 32 hours and 17 minutes of deliberations, will be sentenced at the court tomorrow.

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