X Factor star Joe McElderry, who came out as gay following his Twitter account being hacked, has become a victim of homophia on the social network once again.

Twitter user Bryden Morgan, of Inverness, Scotland, who uses the username @Bryden_morgie allegedly tweeted the star, saying: “ahahaha nice success you’ve had after x-factor you gay ****!!” McElderry won X-Factor in 2009 and went on to win Popstar to Operastar last year.

The tweet has been removed, but Joe McElderry responded saying “judging by your profile pic you’ve clearly had a lot of success”.The profile picture, reproduced below shows a youth smoking what appears to be a giant cigar. It is not clear if he is indeed the operator of the Twitter account.

Mr Morgan describes himself in his Twitter profile as “Getting wrecked and eating KFC!!! YEAH BUDDYY”. He is from Inverness in Scotland.

One fan told the Shields Gazette today: “There are people who say things like that to him quite often.

“His fans always jump straight in to defend him and he always tells us to just ignore the haters, so the fact that he’s actually replied this time must mean that it’s really got to him.”

Morgan appeared to be remorseful at first, tweeting: “ok I apologize for the gay part it was mainly to insult him about x-factor” [sic]. He later updated his enourmous collection of 94 followers (McElderry has more than 300,000) to say that he had been attacked by a “a gang of gay rights activists”and that Twitter users had no right to get their “knickers in a twist” over it.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police told the Shields Gazette: “Police received reports yesterday from a member of the public with concerns of comments made on Twitter.

“Enquiries were carried out and no complaints have been made.”

McElderry came out as gay in 2010, just weeks after pranksters hacked into his Twitter account and posted messages including: “It’s been difficult living a lie for so many years…”

Despite denying publicly that he was gay at first, the incident prompted him to come out to his mother. At the time he said: “I think the Twitter thing was the point when I realised I was gay. I’m feeling good about it, it’s liberating. Now I can just get on with my life.”

McElderry spoke to PinkNews.co.uk’s Laurence Watts last year.