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.
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.
“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”.
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.”
@LouiseMensch I also never said I was the first to use the hashtag. I said I turned it into a political movement. Now leave me alone.— Abby Tomlinson (@twcuddleston) May 19, 2015
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?"
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."
Are you still bullying a 17 year old child? On the Internet? My my what a big brave girl you are @LouiseMensch 👏👏👏— Jack Monroe (@MsJackMonroe) May 18, 2015
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...
Just reported Louise Mensch for harassment. She has gone way beyond criticism of Abby, now just bullying.— Audioseal (@AudioSeal1) May 19, 2015
What a bully @LouiseMensch is!!! Step away from twitter and stop attacking the teenager!— Selena (@MancSel) May 19, 2015
Nice to see Louise Mensch using her influence to bully and harass a 17 y/o for "bias" in her tweets. I think she means "opinions".— Fiona Longmuir (@EscapologistGl) May 19, 2015
How an adult like @LouiseMensch can continue to bully and harrass a minor in public is beyond me. It is shamefull. You must feel so proud— BuffaloCrone (@CorineJN) May 19, 2015
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."