A Liberal Democrat MP has called one of his student constituents a "little shit" after he was congratulated for voting to pass the gay marriage bill.
Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North, told Leeds University student Jonathan Pryor: "I am very glad I have never met you Jonathan as you are a disingenuous, manipulative, illiberal little shit!"
Mulholland took offence at a tweet from Pryor, sent on Tuesday night, about the MP's decision to vote in favour of gay marriage. The mature student who reads economics at Leeds, tweeted:
After being chided for his reaction, Mulholland added:
Pryor told Huffington Post UK he had never spoken to the MP and he was "surprised" at Mulholland's language.
"I'd pointed out that he had abstained on the vote at the second reading, voting for a wrecking amendment and proposed a bizarre amendment to effectively abolish marriage. I'm pleased that lobbying by others and myself finally persuaded Greg Mulholland to vote in favour of equal marriage, but it appears that scrutinising Greg's voting record is - as far as he is concerned - off limits.
"I was surprised more than anything else for that sort of language to be used by an MP. I'd asked Greg Mulholland in the past to vote in favour of equal marriage but before this tweet he'd never spoken to me."
Pryor has already received numerous messages of support, with one tweeting to Mulholland: "What a great example you set to us mere mortals."
On Wednesday morning, David Cameron defended the introduction of gay marriage after the majority of Conservative MPs voted against the bill.
In an appearance on Radio 4's Today programme, the prime minister said: "There will be young boys in schools today who are gay, who are worried about being bulled, who are worried about what society thinks about them, who can see the highest parliament in the land has said that their love is worth the same as anyone else's love.
"I think they will stand that bit taller today."
A Lib Dem spokesperson said the party would not be commenting on the incident, as it was an issue for Mulholland.