Last week the ratings agency Fitch warned that the Government's missing its debt target "weakens the credibility of the UK's fiscal framework, which is one of the factors supporting the [AAA] rating".
But the Chancellor, in a marked change of tone, insisted that "the credit rating is one of a number of ways in which people look at countries."
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The winner of X-Factor Ben Haenow has revealed how keen he is to have the Christmas number one.
The Ministry of Defence has announced that the first British reservists have set off for Sierra Leone to help tackle the Ebola outbreak.
Wintry sunshine for most of the country today but some showers expected in the northwest.