Lucy Spraggan has said she wants to clarify her position on James Arthur after a Twitter spat last week, saying she does not think he is homophobic.

X Factor winner Arthur last week left Twitter following criticism for using homophobic language against another artist in a “rap feud”. He handed over control of his Twitter account to managers.

In Arthur’s rap at Micky Worthless, he said: “You f***ing queer. Hilarious, precarious you Talibani confused, imbellic mimic of a gimmick.” He was criticised by comedians Matt Lucas and Frankie Boyle for the lyrics.

Arthur also found himself amid a new Twitter drama, as fellow X Factor contestant  Spraggan last week tweeted a text conversation between the two containing a heated disagreement over his use of the word “queer”.

She has now taken to Twitter again to clarify her position on Arthur.

She said: “There has been a lot of discussion around my tweets to James Arthur last week and I’d like to make my views clear.

“This is a sensitive subject and I want to clarify that, whilst I know James isn’t a homophobe and I didn’t intend for my tweets to be read that way, I did want to confront an issue that I feel really strongly about and which is what I had hoped to highlight.”

Continuing, she said: “Homophobic language has sadly become so engrained into everyday conversation and people don’t realise the discriminating and devastating effect it can have.

“Stonewall are carrying out an amazing campaign at the moment about the use of language which is something I fully support and I hope everyone takes the time to look into.”

The Sun reports that Arthur is now seeking professional help after the uproar, and that he attributes his state of mind when making the comments to the death of his grandmother.

Yesterday it emerged that a petition to have Arthur removed from a performance on the X Factor this Sunday, which has now gathered over 11,000 signatures.

The page administrators clarified their position, saying: “Just to remind everyone, WE ARE NOT A HATE PAGE. We are simply campaigning to get someone dropped by X Factor who has a history of hate speech and derogatory language.

“We do not feel James Arthur deserves a place on TV following his homophobia in his music and on social media.”

Controversy surrounding James Arthur’s Twitter spats around his use of homophobic lyrics on a track already escalated as iTunes last week approved a refund to a customer who complained that they were offended by the lyrics.

Singer Olly Murs also defended James Arthur, saying he gave him the “benefit of the doubt”, because he is a “talented lad”, and has apologised.