Adam Smith £20 notes hit sour note with Elgar fans

PLANS to put the Scottish economist Adam Smith's face on the new Bank of England £20 note are facing a backlash from a campaign group set up to win a stay of execution for Edward Elgar's visage.

The chairman of the Elgar Foundation has joined forces with MPs from Herefordshire and Worcestershire in a bid to keep the composer in place until after his 150th anniversary celebrations next year.

Elgar, who was born near Worcester, is due to disappear from the note next spring.

But a motion has been tabled in the House of Commons calling for a delay until 2008 in replacing the image of Elgar, who is famous for a string of early 20th century symphonies and concertos and has featured on the Bank's 20 note since June 1999.

The motion says: "This House ... believes that Adam Smith is a fitting choice ... but regrets the insensitivity of the timing of this decision bearing in mind that 2007 marks the 150th anniversary of Elgar's birth; and requests that the implementation of the decision is deferred until a later date."

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