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
Five Britons have died after the car they were in plunged more than 80 feet from a bridge into a Swedish canal.
The Church of England has defended sending "prayers" on Twitter to The God Delusion author Richard Dawkins following his recent stroke.
Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have exchanged Valentine's Day messages on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show.