Theresa May has repeated her commitment to cutting net migration to the tens of thousands amid speculation the pledge could be ditched.
Doubt had been cast over whether the controversial target would feature in the Conservative election manifesto after a Cabinet minister told Sky News that immigration policy was “not about numbers”.
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley insisted it was about ensuring the UK had the skilled workforce it needed.
However, speaking on the campaign trail in Enfield, in north London, Mrs May said: “We want to see sustainable net migration in this country.
“I believe that sustainable net migration is in the tens of thousands.
“Leaving the European Union enables us to control our borders in relation to people coming from the EU, as well as those who are coming from outside.”
She has always supported the flagship promise to reduce net migration below 100,000, despite repeatedly failing to achieve it during six years as home secretary.
Earlier, Ms Bradley had refused to be drawn on whether the target to get numbers down to “tens of thousands” would be in the manifesto.
She said: “What we need is to have the right people, to attract the brightest and best.
“It’s not about putting numbers on it, it’s about making sure we can deliver where industries need skills, where the brightest and best want to come to Britain.”
Mrs May also seized on apparent confusion within Labour after Jeremy Corbyn was forced to rule out backing a second referendum on the terms of the final Brexit deal having earlier refusing to do so when pressed by Sky News.
Seemingly unaware Mr Corbyn had already ruled out a second Brexit vote, she said: “People voted in the referendum last year to leave the European Union.
“That’s what the Government needs to put into place and his failure to rule that second referendum out shows the coalition of chaos that we would have under Jeremy Corbyn.”