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Sun columnist Louise Mensch accused of bullying the Milifandom’s teen leader during Twitter spat


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

May 19, 2015 | 6 min read

Sun columnist and former Conservative MP Louise Mensch has been accused of breaching the Independent Press Standards Organisation's (IPSO) code of conduct by John Prescott for repeatedly criticising Abby Tomlinson, the 17-year-old girl credited with leading the #Milifandom movement.

A lengthy spat was sparked after Tomlinson tweeted her displeasure at how the Sun newspaper had treated her family after she was revealed as a major influencer of the Milifandom.

In response, Mensch jumped to the defence of the publication she is currently a columnist for.

A Twitter storm ensued as Mensch persisted in questioning the teen about the origins of the hashtag she was often, incorrectly, credited with creating.

Mensch also branded Tomlinson "pathetic" in the rant.

Labour MP John Prescott complained that the Sun writer’s “pursuit” of the youth breached IPSO's clause four on press harassment:

i) Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit.

ii) They must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist; nor remain on their property when asked to leave and must not follow them. If requested, they must identify themselves and whom they represent.

iii) Editors must ensure these principles are observed by those working for them and take care not to use non-compliant material from other sources.

In response to the clash - which resulted in mutual blockings on Twitter - the teen posted a video asking the former MP ‘why are you so obsessed with me?”

Additionally, Guardian columnist Jack Monroe took a swing at Mensch for her treatment of the Milifandom founder.

The Sun has distanced itself from the argument in a statement to the HuffPost: "The Sun is neither responsible for, nor going to comment on, what our columnists write on social media."

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