UK

Louise Mensch Accused Of Bullying #Milifandom Teenager Abby Tomlinson

19/05/2015 17:21 BST | Updated 21/05/2015 10:59 BST

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An Ed Miliband-loving college student, who made a name for herself by sending the hashtag '#Milifandom' viral, is being "trolled and bullied" on Twitter by Sun columnist Louise Mensch, according to John Prescott.

Labour Party member Abby Tomlinson proudly describes herself in her twitter bio as “leader of the #milifandom, a movement against the distorted media portrayal of Ed.”

Following Labour’s defeat in the General Election, the 17-year-old who is currently revising for her exams, blogged in the Guardian: “Milifandom was started by myself and several others as a consequence of the disgustingly negative and totally undeserved smear campaign by the rightwing media, that resulted in many people forming an opinion of Miliband based on what Rupert Murdoch and others want him to think.

louise mensch

Louise Mensch (above) has taken a close interest in the origins of the #Milifandom movement

abby tomlinson

Abby Tomlinson lists her ultimate life goals as "a) to meet Ed Miliband and thank him for everything and b) Make a difference!"

“I was angered by this attempt to distort the truth to attack him. We wouldn’t allow bullying in any other part of society, why should it be allowed in the media?”

However, former Conservative MP Mensch has taken strong exception to Tomlinson’s crusade. But rather than objecting to the substance of her movement, Mensch has launched a forensic examination of the origins of the hashtag, accusing the teenager of hijacking it and refusing to credit the true “founder”.

Claiming to be composing a blog on the matter, Mensch is doggedly refusing to back down and has variously described the teenager as "faddish", "infantile" and "pathetic".

Tomlinson admits to being brought to tears by Mensch's comments, but maintains she never claimed to be the first to use the hashtag, informing the columnist: “I said I turned it into a political movement. Now leave me alone.”

Guardian columnist and food blogger Jack Monroe has joined Prescott in the fray, with the former deputy Prime Minister tweeting directly to Mensch’s employers: “@StigAbell Your Sun columnist @LouiseMensch is trolling & bullying a 17 year-old girl @twcuddleston. Is this right?"

john prescott

John Prescott is getting stuck in

He added Mensch’s “pursuit” of the teenager breaches Clause 4 of the Independent Press Standards Organisation on harassment, which states: 'Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harrassment or persistent pursuit... they must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist."

Mensch has denied accusations she is bullying Tomlinson, stating: “I think you people need a new dictionary, one in which ‘criticising’ and ‘bullying’ are not listed as ‘synonyms’.

Many however, would beg to differ...

A spokesman for The Sun told Huffington Post UK: "The Sun is neither responsible for, nor going to comment on, what our columnists write on social media."