Ed Balls MP, Labour's shadow chancellor, has said tonight's credit downgrade is a "humiliating blow" to David Cameron and George Osborne.
This credit rating downgrade is a humiliating blow to a Prime Minister and Chancellor who said keeping our AAA rating was the test of their economic and political credibility.
It would be a big mistake to get carried away with what Moody's or any other credit rating agency says. Tonight's verdict does not change the fact that the credit rating agencies have made major misjudgements over recent years, not least in giving top ratings to US sub-prime mortgages before the global financial crash.
But what matters is the economic reality that the credit rating agencies are responding to. Moody's themselves say the main driver of their decision is the weak growth in Britain's economy. Their judgement is in response to nearly three years of stagnation, a double-dip recession, billions more borrowing as confirmed this week and broken fiscal rules. This is why the Chancellor is fast running out of credibility.
The decision by the ratings agency Moody's to downgrade the UK's AAA credit rating, is unwelcome news for the Government.
Britain's loss of its triple-A credit rating is grim news for the Chancellor. But why does the marginal downgrading carry such a high price?
George Osborne had set great store by Britain's triple-A badge. But is the loss of the rating a loss of confidence in his policies?