The Smile singer, 31, sparked outrage after she used the anti-homosexual slur in a tweet promoting her new song, a cover of the Rufus Wainwright track Going To A Town, released as a protest against new U.S. President Trump.

Retweeting an article from Gay Times magazine praising the song, she wrote the phrase "Fags hate Trump", words which also appeared on a placard in a picture accompanying the article.

The tweet provoked angry responses from some Twitter users, outraged she would use a word which has historically been used to denigrate gay people.

However leading gay rights activist Peter Tatchell leapt to Lily's defence, arguing that the use of the term on the placard, which Lily echoed, was an example of it being reclaimed by gay people as an act of defiance.

"The fuss over placard "Fags Hate Trump" is well-intentioned but misguided," he wrote. ""Fags" is not used with insulting intent. Placard is held by gay person who's using the word fags in a positive, affirming way, as gesture of pride & defiance. The way fags was used was not derogatory but proud and defiant."

Other Twitter users disagreed, arguing the use of the word was never acceptable.

Never one to shy away from publicly discussing politics, Lily, who has spoken out about the refugee crisis in Europe and recently sparked another online firestorm after criticising Britain's role in the slave trade, has been particularly vocal about her dislike of the new U.S. president Donald Trump.

The billionaire reality TV star's accession to the U.S. presidency last Friday (20Jan17) sparked protests across the world, with stars including Scarlett Johansson, Madonna and Jessica Chastain joining a women's march on Washington D.C.

Lily joined a similar march in London where she performed the Rufus Wainwright track for protesters.