24/03/2015 04:48 GMT | Updated 24/03/2015 07:59 GMT

One Direction's Liam Payne Shades Zayn Malik And Justin Bieber On Twitter, Claims It's All Just #Banter

Liam Payne has come under fire from One Direction fans, after making light of his bandmate Zayn Malik’s absence from their current world tour.


Zayn was signed off the Asian leg of the band’s ‘On The Road Again’ jaunt with stress last week, days after being forced to deny rumours that he had cheated on his fiancée, Perrie Edwards.

He’s now safely back in the UK while the rest of the lads continue the tour as a four-piece, though it sounds as though at least one of them has a sense of humour about the Zayn-shaped hole in their line-up.

Sharing a photo on his Twitter page on Monday night, the 1D boys all posed with fans next to a banner, while Liam chose to pose with his hand over Zayn’s face.

Unfortunately for him, it sounds like a lot of the group’s die-hard fans didn’t appreciate him leaving Zayn out of the picture, as he was later forced to dismiss the picture as just “#banter”.

In the same string of tweets, he also appeared to throw shade at Justin Bieber, after one of the ‘Baby’ singer’s fans asked him directly: “Isn't it kinda depressing for you to know that Justin Bieber will always be more successful than you?”

By way of response, Liam alluded to Justin’s several brushes with the law, replying simply: “How many times have I been arrested?”

We’re guessing - Justin’s fans being notoriously loyal to their idol and everything - that at that point Liam’s mentions lit up like a Christmas tree, as he then sent out this tweet:

All that, just minutes after he claimed he had been enjoying a round of the “drinking game”, Ring of Fire.

Oh dear.

One Direction have rarely been far from the headlines for the past week, with Louis Tomlinson confirming over the weekend that he and his longterm girlfriend, Eleanor Calder, had split after around four years together.

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