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 100th anniversary of Britain's worst rail disaster will be commemorated at a special service today.