A top UK statistician has vowed to find more accurate immigration figures, after data showed a conflict in the number of those entering Britain and national insurance numbers issued.

According to official figures, 257,000 EU migrants came to Britain last year but in the same period there were 630,000 National Insurance (NI) numbers issued to EU citizens.

In a letter to MP Bernard Jenkin, John Pullinger, who is head of the Government Statistical Service, said there was:  “currently no complete count of migrants coming into and out of the UK”.

Writing to the chairman of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Mr Pullinger said:  “The recent divergence between the two data sources does need to be understood, explained and be credible with users.”

He said a taskforce had been set up comprised of analytical experts from the Office for National Statistics, Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office and Cabinet Office to look at how more accurate figures can be gathered.

“Our report in May will improve the information available and more fully inform debate on this issue in the run up to the EU Referendum,” he added.

EU immigration figures continue to prompt heated debates between the two sides of the EU referendum debate.

Speaking before MPs of the committee recently Mr Pullinger said: "I want to produce something that actually gives some extra real information rather than fuels the debate.

"Because I do think that in the absence of something the debate goes on and that’s unhelpful."

Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is for general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional for advice regarding their particular circumstances.
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