The Labour party knew that the row over Ken Livingstone’s suspension was not going to disappear overnight. And this morning’s papers show that this story will be bubbling along for some time. All of this comes at a dreadful time for Labour with just days to go until Britain goes to the polls. In particular, it will be interesting to see how these front pages could have an impact on London’s mayoral race. Sadiq Khan has acted swiftly to distance himself from what happened. But with this very public row not likely to go anywhere any time soon, whether this undermining of Labour’s credibility affects Khan remains to be seen. Here’s what the papers had to say about yesterday’s day to forget for Ken:
The Daily Mail described the row as ‘a civil war’. The paper also told of ‘bitter infighting’ and suggested that Labour’s leader Jeremy Corbyn had been ‘reluctant’ to act in suspending Ken – a fact that is likely to give this story extra mileage than it might have had if Corbyn had acted more swiftly.
The Times focuses on the calls made by Labour MPs to boot Livingstone out of the party for good. It’s certainly difficult to see how Ken can make a comeback following the comments he made yesterday. Yet removing the former London mayor’s membership is likely to be something that Corbyn – a long-time ally of Ken – is going to be reluctant to do:
The Daily Telegraph chose the words of Labour’s John Mann for their headline: ‘You are a disgusting Nazi apologist’. The row between Mann and Ken yesterday was certainly one of the most extraordinary moments of a woeful day for Labour. It also gives an indication of Corbyn’s difficult in attempting to pull his party together over this issue which, if he is not careful, could easily spell the end of his leadership:
The Mirror also focused on the very public row between John Mann and Ken Livingstone. The paper said that ‘Labour’s war’ had ‘gone public’. It described what happened as a ‘street row’ – touching on the way that tensions in the party which have been brewing behind the scenes have exploded into the public eye during this debacle:
Even the Guardian described what happened yesterday as a ‘crisis’ for Labour. One of the worst things about this whole row is the way in which the party has managed to wrestle back the front pages from the Tories. With less than a week to go until Britain goes to the polls, whether this comes back to bite Labour will become clear next week: