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Downing Street has backed Danny Alexander over his comments on Britain's credit rating, saying what matters most for the Government is "having the right policies in place".
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury this morning hinted at the possibility of Britain losing its AAA status, claiming the credit rating was not the "be-all and end-all".
"What matters is have we got the right policy mix for the country to get people back into work, to support economic growth, to deal with the huge problems in our public finances?" he told the Today programme.
"The credit agencies reflect on those things and the ratings they give are a reflection of the credibility of that mix."
The Prime Minister’s spokesman supported Mr Alexander’s comments, insisting what mattered was that the Government was tackling the deficit.
“I think the point the Chief Secretary was making is that credit ratings agencies have a role to play, but what they do is that they make judgements on credit ratings," he said.
"What matters for the Government is having the right policies in place. Clearly, an important part of that is having a credible policy for reducing the deficit."
Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves, said Mr Alexander's comments "suggest Ministers are worried about more bad news from the rating agencies".
"Instead of a change in rhetoric the country needs a change of course and a plan for jobs and growth," she added.
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06/08/2012 on Today, BBC Radio 4
Summaries and transcripts from TV and radio
5 hours ago on World at One, BBC Radio 4
6 hours ago on Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2
Today on Sky News