Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland has used highly colourful language in a row with a student over his actions during the third reading of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill.

Although Mr Mulholland was among 366 MPs to vote in favour of the bill, which passed its third reading last night, the Leeds MP was accused by Leeds University student Jonathan Pryor on Twitter of having voted “for a wrecking amendment” and then “trying to abolish marriage.” He added: “I’m glad @GregMulholland1 finally voted the right way.”

In response, Mr Mulholland tweeted: “@Jonathan_Pryor and I am very glad I have never met you Jonathan as you are a disingenuous, manipulate, illiberal little shit! #truth.”

Later, Mr Mulholland clarified his use of language, appearing not to fully withdraw the comment, saying: “I shouldn’t have called him little that was wrong whether he is or not. The rest, true.”

A Lib Dem spokesperson said the party would not be commenting on the incident, as it was an issue for Mulholland.

Earlier this month, Mr Mulholland tabled an amendment to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill, proposing a complete separation of state marriage and religious weddings.

“The Marriage Bill neither delivers equal marriage nor adequately protects freedom of conscience,” he said at the time.

Mr Mulholland was one of seven Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain from voting on the same-sex marriage bill in February’s second reading.

Last night, Lib Dem MPs Sir Alan Beith, Gordon Birtwistle, John Pugh and Sarah Teather voted against the bill’s third reading.