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.
The comments are in marked contrast to his recent views on the issue.
More top news
Sir Bruce Forsyth had to be rushed to hospital after a fall at his home.
Figures show seal shooting is on the decline but 51 licences were granted this year permitting the cull of more than 850 marine mammals.
Three goals were enough to send the team through to its first major football tournament finals since the World Cup in 1986.