Big drop in number of asylum pleas

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There were 5,600 applications for asylum in the second quarter of this year, compared with an average of 11,000 last year, following the restriction of benefits to applicants applying at ports of entry, Home Office statistics show.

In the last year - 5 per cent, or 1,700 cases - were recognised as refugees, and a further 10 per cent were granted exceptional leave to remain. Three- quarters of the total asylum grants were to people from Iraq and former Yugoslavia.