Right, so it turns out that the fallout of Zayn Malik’s departure might be a bit more sensitive for everybody than One Direction’s management would like it to appear.

On Wednesday afternoon, a notable feud broke out on Twitter between Malik and remaining 1D member Louis Tomlinson, later continued on Zayn’s behalf by his producer friend Naughty Boy. For the first time, it indicates that there might be bad blood surrounding Malik’s departure after all.

Zayn MalikZayn Malik at the Asian Awards ceremony last month

Tomlinson initiated proceedings when he poked a bit of fun at a picture that Naughty Boy had tweeted of himself and Malik in the studio, with the caption ‘Replace this!’ Tomlinson wrote “Remember when you were 12 and you used to think those Mac filters for your pictures were cool haha! Some people still do HA!”

More: Noel Gallagher believes Zayn will look back in anger over 1D departure

At this point, Malik intervened by posting “Remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?” While he quickly deleted what he’d written, Naughty Boy reposted his friend’s message, and then things started getting rather heated.

The producer then wrote “And some people can't even sing.. but who's complaining when there's auto tune eh,” having a not-too-subtle pop at Tomlinson’s vocals.

“Jesus forgot you were such an in demand producer .... How does it feel to be riding on the back of someone else's career?” the boy band member responded caustically.

Louis TomlinsonLouis Tomlinson at a charity football match

“Yeah how does it feel mate? You've been doing that for the last five years... I've got Emeli Sande and Sam [Smith] on my CV,” Naughty Boy jibed.

“Good for you, well done !! I think we've done alright in terms of sales and I've happened to write on most. Keep trying!” Tomlinson fired back. Hostilities then ceased for the afternoon.

Naughty Boy, who has worked with 1D and Malik before, has been inflaming the situation in the past, most notably by leaking what many people presumed was a Zayn Malik solo song in the days following his departure back in March. It turned out to be an old 1D out-take.

So, what do you 1D fans make of this then?

More: Zayn Malik removes One Direction references from his Twitter feed – fans become hysterical