Ahh...British usage is more flexible.
*THE* standard for American style absolutely requires the comma.
(Of course, it requires other very silly things. My favorite:
Press the key labelled "ENTER," and then wait ten seconds.
See the placement of the comma there? How many people really have a key labelled ENTER,
(that is, with the comma on the key)??
None, of course. But the style guide absolutely forbids the sequence ", (QUOTE then COMMA).
When I was writing a programming book,the copy editor was constantly going and putting commas in before quote marks like that, even though they obviously destroyed the meaning of the text. So I was constantly rewriting my sentences to ensure no comma would be needed.
And you know where this came from? From the days of the LINOTYPE machines! Where you saved a half-pica by putting the comma first.
*SIGH* I learned later that you British are much more sane on this issue.