Nick Clegg has attacked his Tory coalition partners over immigration, claiming their target of bringing net migration down to the tens of thousands is "meaningless".
The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking after new figures showed net migration - the difference between the number of people entering and leaving the UK - was 243,000 in the year to March.
This was a "statistically significant" increase from the previous year's total of 175,000, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Speaking on his weekly LBC phone-in, Mr Clegg said: "It's a slightly meaningless target, you could have a million people leave this country and 1 million come in and hey, presto, you've met your target of no net immigration, so I don't think it makes a great deal of sense."
He also said the public's confidence in the immigration system had been "very, very badly shaken" in recent years.
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