Gordon Brown was dealt an embarrassing blow last night when Brussels gave warning that Britain must do more to curb its spiralling debt.
The European Commission wants Labour to outline further spending cuts and spell out where the axe will fall.
The intervention, a week before the Budget, will electrify the debate over the economy. David Cameron promised in a BBC interview last night to fight the election campaign by going farther than Mr Brown in saying where cuts will be made.
The Commission is due to release its latest assessment of Britain’s plans to reduce the deficit tomorrow, but a leaked draft makes uncomfortable reading for the Prime Minister and Alistair Darling, the Chancellor.