UK net migration rose to a record 606,000 last year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said.

Net migration is the difference between the number of people arriving in the UK, and the number leaving.

Factors include resettlement schemes for people leaving Ukraine and Hong Kong as well as overseas students.

It is considered a major setback for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who has been under pressure to deliver a 2019 Tory manifesto pledge to cut net migration.

Mr Sunak said the numbers were “too high” but denied they were out of control.

In 2022, an estimated 1.2 million people arrived in the UK, and 557,000 emigrated, the ONS said.

The 606,000 figure is an increase of 164,000 on 2021’s net migration total.

Most of those coming to the UK were non-EU nationals (925,000), followed by EU nationals (151,000) and British people (88,000).

Among them, 114,000 Ukrainians arrived in the UK last year, after Russia invaded last February.

And 52,000 Hong Kong citizens moved to the UK in 2022 on a special visa scheme created after China imposed a national security law in the former British colony, which made it easier for authorities to punish protesters.

The number of work-related arrivals from outside the EU nearly doubled compared with 2021 – 235,000 compared with 137,000 the year before.

The ONS pointed out that the latest figures reflect changes made during the pandemic in how official migration figures are calculated.

Projections are now linked more to government data rather than surveys of passengers arriving at British ports, and asylum seeker numbers are now included

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