Louisa Johnson has issued a statement after posts were unearthed from her Twitter account using homophobic slurs.
On Wednesday (28 March), Louisa was confirmed to be performing at Birmingham Pride, having already been announced for the line-up at Brighton Pride.
However, in response to the announcement, one Twitter user posted a screengrab of tweets sent by Louisa in 2013, when she was 14 years old, in which she frequently uses the slur “faggot”.
In one post she wrote: “Seriously think Fynns a faggot… what have u raised he has a pink hairdye.”
She also shared a photograph of a child, commenting: “Look at this faggot.”
The tweets in question have now been deleted.
Louisa, who is currently promoting new single, ‘Yes’, has now issued a statement, apologising for “some of the comments [she] made at that time on social media”.
She wrote: “When I was a school girl I made some inappropriate remarks on Twitter. I was young and foolish, and hanging around with the wrong crowd, and didn’t know any better.
“That’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation.”
The former ‘X Factor’ winner continued: “I’m sorry for some of the comments I made at that time on social media. I think it’s important for me to speak out about this and say that I don’t think it is right or appropriate for anyone to use derogatory language at any time or at any age no matter what the circumstances.
“I am a completely different person to who I was at the age of 14, and I am a huge supporter of the LGBT community.”
In an interview with Gay Times last week to promote ‘Yes’, Louisa said of her gay fans: “I’m so grateful that they’re still here, waiting for it. It’s been so bloody long! They never let me down. It’s lovely to have that support.
“You do sometimes doubt yourself, and you always worry about what is going to happen, but my gay fans have always been there for me, and I know they always will be. I feel very lucky.”
When the Gay Times reporter commented that “when [gay men] like a pop diva, we stick by them”, she responded: “Exactly! And I thank you for it!”
HuffPost UK has reached out to representatives for Brighton and Birmingham Pride for comment.