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William Hague dropped in to a hi-tech London venue yesterday to launch an online petition to save the British Pound.

The Tory leader was flanked by political heavyweight, Michael Portillo, and Francis Maude in the basement of the Silicon Rooms. Together, they each sat down at a PC and tapped in their e-commitment to sterling.

The campaign -- to muster support against Britain ditching the pound in favour of the Euro -- is to be supplemented by a paper petition.

Although the online petition went live only yesterday morning, by the time Portillo arrived 1,257 people had already pledged their allegiance to Britain's currency. Portillo's deft typing made it 1,258; Maude was 1,259 and Hague was 1,261.

As the politicians huddled around the PC for a photo-call it probably escaped the attention of all but the most vulture-eyed journalists present that the Logitech wireless keyboard being used for this patriotic moment included the Euro sign on the number "4" key.

Still, it's unlikely that Hague, Portillo and Maude will let such a little detail like that interfere with their campaign to Keep the Pound. ®

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