Osborne austerity pledge

Chancellor George Osborne has insisted that austerity measures must continue after being criticised by MPs following the downgrading of Britain's credit rating. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said the move was 'humiliating'.

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Veteran MP: Osborne should be 'out on his neck'

After the UK's credit rating was downgraded by Moodys, veteran Labour backbencher Dennis Skinner told George Osborne that he was a football manager he would have been sacked.

Mr Skinner said: "It's been three years of continuous failure, first a recession, then a double-dip recession, now the relegation of the pound sterling.

"If he'd been a football manager he'd have been out on his neck already.

"Why doesn't he get out!"

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Balls: UK failed by 'this downgraded Chancellor'

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls referred to the Tory manifesto as he attacked the Chancellor's pre-election pledge to maintain the UK's credit rating.

Ed Balls refers to a copy of the Tory manifesto as he attacks George Osborne's economic record.

Reading a quote which said "the British people will have transparent benchmarks against which they could judge the economic success or failure of the next government", Mr Balls went on:

"'Number one, we will safeguard Britain's credit rating' the first economic test he set himself, now failed by this downgraded Chancellor".

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Sterling falls to 2.5 year low against dollar

Sterling has fallen to a two-and-a-half year low against the dollar and a 16-month low against the euro following Moody's downgrading of the UK's credit rating from its prized triple A status on Friday, Reuters reported.

Sterling fell against the dollar to $1.5073 and against the euro at 87.75 pence.

UK downgrade 'could hit value of sterling'

The head of the Federation of European Employers has warned that the UK's loss of its triple A rating could have a serious effect on sterling when markets open today:

The downgrading of the UK's credit status is a blow for the UK as a leading financial centre and the UK balance of payments is so reliant on its financial services that even a small loss in trading income could affect the value of sterling and have a major impact on GDP.

– Robin Charter, secretary general, Federation of European Employers
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