Britain's asylum backlog has hit a record total with 175,457 people waiting for their applications to be processed, a rise of 44 per cent in a year.
Home Office figures show 80 per cent of those have been waiting longer than six months for an initial decision.
The figures come only days after the Institute for Public Policy Research published a report warning that the UK is facing a permanent backlog of asylum seekers as a result of new measures meant to tackle illegal immigration, which could cost the nation £6.38 billion ($8 billion) a year.
The data for the end of June shows numbers have risen from 122,213 at the end of the previous June – which had been the highest figure since records began in 2010.
The number of asylum seekers waiting more than six months for an initial decision stood at 139,961, up 57 per cent year-on-year from 89,231, another record.
However, the number of cases awaiting a decision has risen by less than 1 per cent in the three months to the end of June, suggesting the rise is slowing down.
“This is in part due to an increase in the number of initial decisions made, and an increase in the number of asylum decision-makers employed,” the department said.
There were 23,702 initial decisions made on asylum applications in the year to June, up 61 per cent year-on-year, and also exceeding the 20,766 in the pre-pandemic calendar year of 2019.
About seven in 10 (71 per cent) of initial decisions on asylum applications in the year to June were grants of refugee status, humanitarian protection or alternative forms of leave.
This is “substantially higher” than in pre-pandemic years, when these comprised about a third of initial decisions, the Home Office said.
The grant rate has been above 70 per cent since 2021.
Before then, the previous high was in 1990, when it stood at 82 per cent, although the volume of applications was much lower then.
Shadow immigration minister Stephen Kinnock said the backlog amounted to a “disastrous record” for the Prime Minister and Home Secretary.
“These new statistics set out in stark terms the complete chaos the Tories have created in the immigration and asylum system,” he said.
“With this level of mismanagement, there is very little prospect of reducing the eye-wateringly high bill for hotel rooms for all those left in limbo, currently costing the British taxpayer £6 million a day.
“And, as millions of young people get their GCSE results, we have seen a 45 per cent rise in migrant work visas.
"The Conservative government must finally get a grip on the skills and training system to ensure employers can hire our brilliant home-grown talent before recruiting from overseas.”
About 90 per cent of people arriving in the UK in the year to June after crossing the English Channel on small boats have claimed asylum or were recorded as dependant on an asylum application, the Home Office said.
Overall, 46 per cent of the total number of people claiming asylum in the UK in the year to June had arrived on a small boat.
A total of 74 per cent of all small boat asylum applications since 2018 are still awaiting a decision, including 88 per cent of those made in the year to June.
Home Office spending on asylum in the UK in the 2022/23 fiscal year was £3.97 billion, nearly double the £2.12 billion in 2021/22, government figures show.
A decade ago, in 2012/13, the total was £500.2 million.