Ed Sheeran dominates UK charts with double No 1

New album No 6 Collaborations Project outsells the rest of the Top 30 put together, and has three singles in the Top 5

Ed Sheeran has topped the UK albums and singles charts this week, following the release of his new album, No 6 Collaborations Project.

The album outsold the rest of the Top 30 albums put together, and is the year’s fastest-selling album so far, scoring 125,000 combined sales from 57,000 physical sales, 18,000 downloads and 70.2m track streams.

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The questionable legacy of Theresa May | Letters

Allegra Madgwick challenges the idea that the prime minister is a feminist champion, Hester Doherty questions how she stood up for domestic abuse victims, and Judy Stober thinks we are too kind. Plus letters from Les Bright, Mark Lewinski, Kip Bennett and Tony Cole

The question of whether Theresa May is a feminist champion posed by Martha Gill in her opinion piece (Journal, 15 July), surely depends on what sort of feminism you are talking about. As a socialist feminist, the idea that one of the great movements of human liberation in our times could be reduced to getting a few more female Tory MPs into parliament is truly depressing.

Gill acknowledges that Tory austerity policies have been terrible for working-class women, but makes no mention of how the scandals of Windrush, Grenfell and the hostile policy towards asylum seekers and immigrants, which can be directly traced to May’s time at the Home Office, show class politics at its most brutal and demonstrate indifference to the lives of the most vulnerable women.

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Recollections of Izal and Bronco, and reaching the bottom line | Letters

Readers share their experiences of the classic – but not greatly missed – toilet products

Bronco toilet tissue (Letters, 12 July) was manufactured by the British Patent Perforated Paper Company in Hackney Wick before the war and sold millions worldwide. I worked in the office from November 1938 until my call-up in 1941. Raw paper was mostly imported from Sweden, so war supplies were hampered, but production kept going. Sometime in 1940 we had a letter advising the printing of a photo of Hitler on each sheet, a suggestion not accepted, but not without discussion. Bronco and Izal were manila-based papers that did not dissolve in water, so were unsuitable in postwar sewers.
Martin Sheldon

• In the 1930s Izal would interweave into their toilet rolls small slips which children used to collect. These slips featured nursery rhymes and full sets could be sent to the massive Thorncliffe works of Newton Chambers (north Sheffield) where Izal disinfectant was first distilled in the 1890s. In return children were sent a book called Rhyme Time.
Sylvia Dunkley
Sheffield, South Yorkshire

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Damian Hinds signals extra funds for special needs education

Education secretary says the government recognises need to ease pressure on local councils

Spending on children with special educational needs and disabilities is expected to be increased after the education secretary said the government recognised the urgent need to relieve pressures on families, councils and schools.

Although Damian Hinds declined to put a figure on the announcement to be made as early as next week, he said discussions between the Department for Education and the Treasury recognised the “particular pressures” caused by the rapid increase in children and young people with Send.

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Trevor Horn webchat – post your questions now!

The 80s hitmaker and creative force behind the Buggles, the Art of Noise and many others will be answering your questions at 1pm BST on 23 July

He’s credited as the man who invented the 80s – or at least its sound, thanks to his early acquisition of a Fairlight sampler and a LinnDrum machine. Whoever else might lay claim to that title, Trevor Horn certainly predicted pop’s most visual era as half of the Buggles, with their massive 1979 hit Video Killed the Radio Star, and then capitalised on it in the decade to come. He collaborated with that great pop showman, Malcolm McLaren, cofounded the ZTT label and brought the world Frankie Goes to Hollywood, with their indelible imagery and pristine knack for controversy.

His work that decade is a murderers’ row of hits: ABC’s The Look of Love, Grace Jones’s Slave to the Rhythm, Godley & Creme’s Cry, Pet Shop Boys’ Left to My Own Devices. He might as well have been the guy who invented the 90s, too: as part of the Art of Noise from 1983, Horn pioneered the sampling technology that would change the sound and scope of hip-hop in the years to come.

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Brexit activist James Goddard pleads guilty over calling Anna Soubry a Nazi

Goddard, 29, who shouted abuse at MP outside parliament, admits public order offences

The self-styled “yellow vest” protester who shouted abuse at the MP Anna Soubry has pleaded guilty to public order offences over his behaviour.

James Goddard, 29, a pro-Brexit activist from Altrincham, admitted causing alarm and distress using threatening or abusive language.

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Hospital trust admits sepsis care failings after woman’s death

Sophie Burgess, 19, died 48 hours after giving birth at New Cross hospital, Wolverhampton

A hospital trust has admitted sepsis care and treatment failings after a previously healthy teenage mother died 48 hours after giving birth to twins.

Sophie Burgess safely delivered a boy and a girl eight weeks premature, but never got to be with her children after falling seriously ill with sepsis and HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening pregnancy condition.

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How a Boris Johnson cabinet could shape up

Tory leadership favourite would have to keep all sides of the party happy and reward loyal MPs

Boris Johnson has won the backing of more than half of MPs across all factions of the Conservative party, many of whom will be keen to have their enthusiastic outings in the media rewarded with a plum promotion.

But how can Johnson keep the very different wings of the party inside the tent when he has more ambitious backers than jobs to go round – and avoid making enemies by demoting senior supporters?

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Worsening public finances give next PM a sharp ‘reality check’

Highest June deficit for four years shows economic slowdown is feeding through

Pledges by Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to cut taxes and increase spending have come just as the UK’s public finances have shown a marked deterioration, according to the latest official figures.

In what analysts called a “reality check” for the two Conservative prime ministerial contenders, the Office for National Statistics said the government needed to borrow £7.2bn last month – more than double the £3.3bn in the same month a year ago.

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London officials ban segregated play areas in future housing developments

Exclusive: Move follows Guardian report that social tenants were being banned from using facilities

Segregated play spaces are to be banned in all future London housing developments, the Greater London Authority (GLA) has revealed this week.

The policy, part of the London Plan for developers and local authorities across the city, follows outrage across the political spectrum at the case of the Lilian Baylis estate in Kennington. Guardian Cities reported that families living in the social housing side of the estate were not allowed to use the play area or any communal spaces on the development.

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Could Camden’s climate assembly help fix democracy too?

At meeting of randomly selected local people there are differing views but a respectful tone

In an airless library in north London, 56 people are trying to help fix not one global crisis but two. There are students and builders, a civil servant, an entrepreneur, a restaurateur, a support worker. There are immigrants and retirees and even a retired immigrant.

This is Britain’s first climate assembly, a randomly selected panel of local people convened by the London borough of Camden to consider what can be done to confront the climate emergency. The jurors have been assembled to listen to briefings, pose questions, assess facts, debate and discuss, and then ultimately recommend action to Camden council. The big question before them is what action the district can take to limit global heating and its impact.

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First climate assembly in UK draws up wishlist for council action

Camden council officials say they intend to implement at least some of the panel’s ideas

Britain’s first climate assembly culminates on Saturday when 56 north Londoners will decide on measures they want their council to enact to confront the climate crisis.

Camden’s Citizens Assembly, convened to interrogate what locals, neighbourhoods and the council can do for the environment, is deliberating action that would reduce fossil fuel usage in homes, public buildings and on roads.

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