Newspaper headlines: Livingstone suspended, Labour 'anti-Semitism', and vicious cat

The suspension of Ken Livingstone and the row within the Labour Party about accusations of anti-Semitism dominate the front pages.

Mr Livingstone made comments about Hitler when trying to defend Labour MP Naz Shah who has been accused of anti-Semitism.

The Times says Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was warned he faced a defining moment after his close ally and friend "horrified Labour MPs, peers and donors by claiming that Hitler had once supported Zionism and that anti-Semitism was not 'exactly the same' as racism".

The Times continues: "The row comes after repeated complaints that Mr Corbyn has failed to tackle growing anti-Semitism in the party."

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The Telegraph calls it a day of extraordinary turmoil.

"Mr Corbyn enraged his MPs further by suggesting that the row had been created by his opponents because they are nervous and jealous of his power," it reports.

The Guardian notes that the furore comes just a week before crucial elections.

It says: "Labour was engulfed in a row over Livingstone's future and wider concerns that a series of scandals involving anti-Semitism were damaging its reputation."

Labour MP John Mann confronted Mr Livingstone in front of the media when he arrived in Westminster and called him a "Nazi apologist".

The i says Mr Livingstone's comments "provoked an extraordinary televised confrontation" with Mr Mann.

The Mirror has a dramatic front page that depicts a finger-pointing Mr Mann in what it calls an astonishing street row.

The Mail says: "Unbridled and in the full glare of the media, it was one of the most extraordinary public clashes between two senior politicians in modern times."

The Financial Times describes it as a dramatic day at Westminster, while the Sun believes Mr Livingstone's career is in tatters.

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Sinking in a toxic swamp

In a leading article, the Times says it is tempting to dismiss Mr Livingstone as a "trivial ignoramus" for whom history is a closed book - but his "incendiary interventions" hold a wider significance.

"Britain's democratic character derives from tolerance of minorities and a determination to face down xenophobia," it continues. "Prejudice against Jews is gaining new traction under the misleading guise of criticism of Israeli government policies."

The Telegraph calls on moderate Labour MPs to take a stand.

"We make no apology for returning to the issue of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party," it says. "The party has left us with no choice.

"Yesterday, it suspended Ken Livingstone following his extraordinary intervention in a growing, necessary debate about left-wing attitudes towards Zionism."

The Guardian comments that certain forms of anti-Semitism are a "particular and recurrent danger" among the left's ranks - and Labour must be vigilant.

It continues: "While one does not often hear outright anti-Semitism aired in progressive circles, you might occasionally catch suggestions that there are bigger problems to worry about.

"It is a short slip from here to refusing to accept anti-Semitism as real racism at all."

The Mirror says Labour is in a shambles heading into Thursday's local elections, "sinking in a toxic swamp with one prominent MP screaming in front of TV cameras at a former London mayor".

"Corbyn and Labour must be clear it champions the values of fairness, decency and tolerance, which means combating poisonous hatreds.

"For as long as the party appears shambolic, Labour will remain in opposition," it concludes.

The Sun calls Mr Corbyn's reaction to Mr Livingstone's "repugnant Hitler outburst" pitiful.

"It took hours to suspend, not sack, his political soulmate," it says. "Then Labour's leader denied his party was in crisis despite one anti-Semite after another being outed."

Sympathy for the delphiniums

The row, of course, elicits plenty of reaction in Friday's press.

Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, comments in the Times: "There are any number of ironies in the latest bout of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party but the most depressing is that for most of its existence Labour has been the natural political home for many Jews: the party championed the Jewish state and was genuinely anti-racist."

In the Telegraph, Atma Singh, Mr Livingstone's former policy adviser on faith issues, says he showed his lack of political judgement in a day of disaster for him.

"I think Ken Livingstone has gone beyond any acceptable political views," he says. "He should be expelled from the Labour Party for his views."

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Media captionFormer Conservative MP and businessman Tim Collins, and Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson, join the BBC News Channel to review Friday's front pages.

In his political sketch in the Times, Patrick Kidd says it is Mr Livingstone's delphiniums he feels sorry for.

"The sun was out and the former Mayor of London had planned a day of tending his garden, when suddenly he was dragged from his herbaceous border to defend Adolf Hitler on the telly," he writes.

"'I'd be much happier doing the gardening,' he sighed at the end of a 20-minute ordeal with Andrew Neil on the BBC's Daily Politics in which Mr Livingstone said that Hitler was just a travel agent and that he had never heard anybody in the Labour Party say a bad word about Jews.

"'It's such a nice day out there,' he added."

Michael Deacon's sketch in the Telegraph is headlined: "How Ken's plans for a quiet day's gardening were ruined by Hitler."

"Ken Livingstone smiled weakly," he says. "'I was planning to have a nice quiet morning in the garden,' he said. Unfortunately, his plan didn't quite work out.

"Instead, he spent his morning telling the BBC that Hitler supported Zionism, being called a Nazi apologist by an enraged colleague, hiding from the press in a disabled loo, and pursued down the street by television crews and a dog.

"Oh, and then getting suspended by the Labour Party. Honestly. Sometimes it just isn't your day, is it?"

Cat flap

In other news, most of the papers carry the story of Bella the cat who has so terrorised postal workers in Patchway, Bristol, by leaping up at the door to snatch letters with her teeth that they have refused to deliver to her home.

"With her fluffy black coat, dainty white socks and wide green eyes, she seems an unlikely candidate to strike fear into the heart of postmen," says the Times.

"According to the Royal Mail, however, Bella the cat is a lot more vicious than she might appear."

The Telegraph comments that cats have their little ways and Bella's favourite game was Catch the Postman's Fingers.

"Fortunately a Royal Mail official proposed a compromise - a little cage - not for poor Bella but for the letter box," says the Telegraph. "This should bring a peaceful closure to the great Bristol cat flap."

And well done to the Mail, which has come up with the headline: "Postman spat ( ...and a very fierce black and white cat).