The Guardian view on Labour in power: the party must deliver for its MPs, members and voters | Editorial

Sir Keir Starmer has to translate the struggles taking place outside parliament into legislative reform

Sir Keir Starmer’s first week as prime minister ends with Britain feeling a less parochial and more open‑minded place. The Labour leader’s appearance at the Nato summit went off smoothly, and leaks suggest he will downgrade migration as a major topic in talks with European leaders next week. The most common response to the new government, say pollsters, is to feel hopeful and relieved . Labour is set for a summer honeymoon with the public. Sir Keir is a lucky general. If England’s men win Euro 2024, he would be the most charmed politician of the modern age.

The prime minister might be happy that more Britons appear favourable towards him than before the election and that they seem more likely to expect his government to change things for the better than for the worse. This could be a double-edged sword. More than half of those polled think Labour will increase public spending in the next year. Sir Keir has lowered expectations, perhaps so that they can be easily met. But the electorate voted for change, not continuity, which is why Sir Keir ought to revisit his decision not to abolish the two‑child benefit cap that sees families get no extra means‑tested support beyond their second child.

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The arrogant, reckless Tory government left behind a mountain of mess. In one week, we’ve begun to clear it | Keir Starmer

We are embarking on the hard graft of making people’s lives better – and we will fight every day to restore hope

Last Friday, I stood on the steps of Downing Street and made a promise to the British people. I said the work of change would begin immediately. And I meant it.

My new cabinet hit the ground running. We’ve lifted the ban on onshore wind. We’ve created a national wealth fund to invest in and grow our economy. We’ve met NHS bosses to get the 40,000 extra NHS appointments we need each week and 700,000 urgent dental appointments up and running as quickly as possible.

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Why testosterone is so important for women during menopause | Letter

Kate Muir takes issue with an article about the use of testosterone by women

Your headline (‘Frightening’ how easily women can get hold of testosterone, say doctors, 5 July ) is shaming and disempowering for menopausal women. Testosterone is an essential female hormone , and we should feel no shame about asking for it to be topped up. Women are turning to private prescriptions because they are refused help on the NHS, and the majority of GPs have not been properly educated on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on testosterone replacement in menopause.

Also, the suggestion that many women are “using it as an anabolic steroid, like it is used for doping in sport” is absolutely unproven. What we do know from a 2022 review is testosterone is important for vulvovaginal and urethral health, and sexual function. Also, low testosterone in older women correlates with low bone density.
Kate Muir
Author, Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause

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Gareth Southgate has proved that quiet competence can lift a nation – it’s a lesson that goes far beyond sport | Jonathan Freedland

The England football manager was once derided as ‘woke’ and ‘soft’. But he has succeeded where his predecessors failed.

It’s just a game, right? Wrong. You don’t have to be on nodding terms with, let alone a fan of, the beautiful game to see that Sunday’s final of the European Championships – and the fact that England are in it – has a significance that goes beyond sport. It has implications for all the things that usually preoccupy us on these pages: politics, culture wars, race, masculinity, identity and our national story – and, unusually, most of those implications are good.

We can dispense swiftly with the most obvious. Keir Starmer likes to say his favourite Labour leader is Harold Wilson, the man who was in Downing Street the last (and only) time England’s men won a major international football tournament. Wilson milked that 1966 success the same way he capitalised on Beatlemania, and who could blame him? Success in Berlin on Sunday would give a feelgood boost to the country and be one more bit of luck for a new prime minister who, in recent weeks at least, seems to have been gifted with a crateload of magic lamps and a full squad of genies.

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After years of being gaslit by government, we civil servants can breathe again under Labour | The civil servant

Colleagues say they value Keir Starmer’s promise to treat us with respect. There is a profound sense of relief: the adults are back in the room

  • The author works for the UK civil service

I joined the civil service when Tony Blair was in his pre-Iraq pomp, not long after his “new dawn ” speech sent many people’s expectations – after 18 years of increasingly sleaze-spattered Tory rule – soaring. Our boss at the time, the cabinet secretary and head of the civil service Robin (now Lord) Butler, famously said to Blair at his very first cabinet meeting: “Now what?”

Here we are again. Except the stakes are far higher than they were in 1997. Witness the freshly minted chancellor’s claim that the new government has inherited the “worst set of circumstances since the second world war”. This isn’t hyperbole, and Rachel Reeves’s warnings to the public – and to all of us in the public sector – about the “difficult decisions” to come will be repeated far beyond what will be a mercilessly short honeymoon period.

“For the first time in my career, I feel like I can breathe a little, and that I won’t face each day wondering what nasty bit of policy we’ll be told to enact. I’m under no illusions that I’ll personally agree with everything the new government will do – nor would I expect to – but I feel professionally revitalised knowing that the adults are back in charge.”

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People-power led to my re-election. It is the start of a new politics | Jeremy Corbyn

When we realise that strength is built from below, we can challenge those at the top. Our new movement starts here

  • Jeremy Corbyn is the MP for Islington North

Teme Teme Wanga and I used to share an office building in Finsbury Park, north London. In one room was our constituency casework team, helping Islington North residents with the many problems they faced. Next door was the Congolese Community Council, which provided support for Congolese refugees. Our offices worked together to ensure people could get the help they needed. Teme is – and always has been – a pillar of the Islington community, and there are countless people in Islington who owe him a debt of gratitude. I am proud to say that I am one of them.

During the election campaign in Islington North, Teme spoke to hundreds of people to ask them to elect me as their independent MP . He didn’t sign up to our campaign’s “phone-banking” system, which asked volunteers to call up voters who had already expressed their support. He didn’t need to. He had his own contacts book, and called up his friends and neighbours one by one. Teme has dedicated his life to offering advice to his community; no wonder they listened to him when he explained why they should put a cross next to my name.

Jeremy Corbyn is the MP for Islington North

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