'UK's economic reputation is on the line' - Osborne in 2009

On the only previous occasion S&P dropped the UK's outlook from stable to negative, George Osborne - then the shadow Chancellor - was quick to highlight its significance:

It's now clear that Britain's economic reputation is on the line at the next general election, another reason for bringing the date forward and having that election now.

For the first time since these ratings began in 1978, the outlook for British debt has been downgraded from stable to negative.

– George Osborne - speaking in 2009

The comments are in marked contrast to his recent views on the issue.

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UK credit rating under threat

The ratings agency Standard & Poor's has placed the UK on a negative outlook, increasing the chances of a downgrade from its top AAA credit rating.