Record numbers granted citizenship

The number of people granted British citizenship reached record levels last year, new figures showed today.

Government data revealed 164,635 foreign nationals became British, up 7 per cent on the previous 12 months.

Separate figures showed there was a 16 per cent rise in asylum applications in the first three months of this year, to 6,595, compared with the same period in 2007.

The number of failed asylum seekers deported from January to March was down 13 per cent to 2,805, while the total number of people removed - including other categories of people such as foreign criminals - was up 12% to 16,760.