The UK government will not meet its flagship immigration pledge for "some time", Amber Rudd has admitted. The new Home Secretary revealed Theresa May is sticking with David Cameron's "tens of thousands" target as she appeared before the Home Affairs Committee this afternoon (7 September).
Rudd also failed to say whether the Home Office will achieve the commitment before 2020, when the next general election is scheduled. "I don't think I can be drawn any further on what I've said," she told the SNP's Stuart McDonald.
The Conservative, who campaigned for Remain at the EU referendum, said she thought people had concerns over immigration because of "additional pressure on public services," including schools and the NHS.
But Rudd failed to reveal how the government plans to reduce net migration figures, after May ruled out adopting an Australian-style visa system.
She added: "I will draw your attention to the additional phrase 'it will take some time', I would point out that, and I would also point out that it's a net figure...we can flex it to make sure we can have more of certain types of immigration into the UK that's to our benefit."
David Cameron consistently missed the immigration target, with the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showing net migration hit 327,000 in the year to March 2016.
Rudd, like May, also said she would not provide a "running commentary" of the government's Brexit negotiations with Brussels.
The comments come after Number 10 slapped Brexit Secretary David Davis down for suggested that it would be "improbable" that the UK would remain in the single market.
Downing Street said Davis, a Leave campaigner, was voicing a personal stance, despite his appearance at the government despatch box in the House of Commons.
Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, faces a row over Brexit negotiation after a spokesman reportedly repeatedly "refused" to say the left-winger backs the UK remaining in the single market.
Owen Smith, the Labour leadership challenger, said: "Jeremy seems happy to accept Brexit at any cost – even if that means putting British jobs and investment at risk."
Elsewhere, Rudd addressed the resignation of Justice Lowell Goddard as chair of the independent inquiry into historic child sex abuse allegations in England and Wales. Rudd told the MPs she thought Goddard, who is from New Zealand, was "too lonely, she was a long way from home".
Professor Alexis Jay has been announced as the inquiry's new chair and will receive a "substantially less" salary than Goddard's £500,000 per year, according to Rudd.