Liam Payne slams Louis Walsh over comments about Cheryl

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Singer Liam Payne has hit out at Louis Walsh after the X Factor judge criticised a reporter over a question about Payne's pop star girlfriend Cheryl.

The Irish judge, 64, told a reporter "It's not about Cheryl" when asked about the prospects of the singer returning to the X Factor judging panel next year.

"Simon wouldn't invite Cheryl back because we have Nicole (Scherzinger)," he said.

"We have Nicole and Sharon (Osbourne). We don't need another girl. So go and f**k off now," he said, smiling.

"It's not about Cheryl, stupid man."

Louis was taking questions with the X Factor group 5 After Midnight at a media event in anticipation of this weekend's ITV show final.

Louis Walsh
(Philip Toscano/PA)

Former One Direction star Liam, 23, who is in a relationship with Cheryl, 33, launched an angry rant about Louis on Twitter.

"Congratulations Louis Walsh for setting the worst example on handling media for his band who are about to step into a very hard industry," he wrote.

"Maybe it's about time you realise it's not all about you and shut the f**k up for once, let them speak."

Former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl has not commented on reports that she and boyfriend Liam are expecting their first child.