Theresa May insists net migration will be reduced to tens of thousands but it will 'take time'
Theresa May has insisted that the Government will cut net migration below 100,000 - despite mounting Tory calls for the target to be ditched.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson last week said the pledge - first made by David Cameron before the 2010 general election - "does not fit the requirements of the country".
However, it has never been achieved and the most recent statistics put the figure at 244,000.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid stopped short of endorsing the policy on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday, insisting only that he was "committed to our manifesto".
But the Prime Minister's official spokesman said the target remained in place, and insisted that it would eventually be achieved.
He said: "The public have been very clear in their wish to have net migration reduced to sustainable levels. The Home Secretary was very clear [on TV yesterday] of his commitment to the manifesto and said that meant bringing migration down to a sustainable level.
"We've always said that this is a process that will take time but if you look at the most recent set of figures, net migration is falling. We are fully committed to reaching this target, the Prime Minister has been clear it will take time."
The spokesman also confirmed that the cap on the number of non-EU doctors being granted so-called 'Tier 2' visas to work in the NHS is set to be lifted after the limit was reached.
"Visa routes are always under review and we are monitoring the situation in relation to visa applications for doctors, including the monthly limits through the Tier 2 visa route.
"The Government fully recongises the contribution that international professionals make to the UK and we do keep visa routes under review. However it's important that our immigration system works in the national interest and ensures that employers look first to the resident labour market before recruiting from overseas."