A man has been arrested after sending homophobic abusive tweets to campaigner Jack Monroe.

According to the Avon and Somerset Constabulary website, a 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with an investigation into homophobic messages posted on social media.

"We received a report of a fake Twitter account being set up which was later used to send homophobic messages and an investigation was launched."

Detective Inspector Phil Jones said: "We take all reports of hate crime extremely seriously and following our initial enquiries a 22-year-old man has been arrested and is currently in custody for questioning."

After receiving the tweets, Monroe, who campaigns on food rights, responded by saying: "God it's men like this that make me wish I wasn't a lesbian. Be still my beating heart for the charm and intellect."

The trolling continued until she decided to leave the social media platform, saying "the hate and vitriol is suffocating".

"It's all a bit exhausting, frightening and very deeply saddening," she told the Observer on Saturday after posting a tweet entitled "final word" in which she begged people not to respond to the attacks on her behalf.

"Please do not retaliate to the trolls and abusers with abuse. Not in my name. Please, not in my name," she wrote.

A Ukip spokesperson yesterday said police had been informed by Alex Wood, a former Ukip candidate in Somerset, that someone was using the account to send out homophobic and sexist abuse claiming to be him.

"Mr Wood has told me he has reported this person he believes to be responsible to the police. We're annoyed about this, he's annoyed about this," the spokesperson said in a Guardian report. "The sentiments expressed in the tweets are vile."

The abuse began after Monroe, a recent convert to the Green party from Labour, wrote a piece for the Guardian following Thursday's election debate.

In it she praised the Green leader, Natalie Bennett's stance on immigration and criticised Ukip leader Nigel Farage as a "circus act".

The poster, writing under the handle @Alex_WoodUKIP, wrote, among other messages, to Monroe saying: "Your sick form of Lesbianism and militant queerism is destroying this country. Get out and give us Britain back! #VoteUKIP."

The Twitter troll is believed to be known by a number of aliases including Joshua Bonehill and Alex Wood, claims to be a member of the UK Independence Party.

'Joshua Bonehill' has a history of posting messages on Twitter promoting right-wing organisations, including the English Defence League.