One Direction's Liam Payne has slammed Taylor Swift for the 'lame' dig she apparently aimed at her ex-boyfriend Harry Styles at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The popstar took it upon himself to defend his bandmate although Styles himself shrugged off the country songbird's jibe towards him.

During her acceptance speech for Best Female Video Taylor thanked the ex who 'inspired' her hit song I Knew You Were Trouble.

"Thank you. Wow. I want to thank the fans because I tweeted about this a lot, I really really wanted this," she said.

"I also want to thank the person who inspired this song, who knows exactly who he is, because I got one of these. Thank you so much!"

But Payne insisted that the awkward scene could have been avoided and her actions were uncalled for.

"I just thought it was a bit not needed. I mean, you just won an award, it's like, concentrate on yourself!" he told Us Weekly at the New York premiere of the One Direction movie This Is Us

Payne - who turns 20 today was then asked if Swift's behaviour was "lame". He gave a one-word answer: "Yeah".

Meanwhile the Swift and Style's failed and bitter romance was back in the spotlight again after footage emerged online of the singer allegedly mouthing the words "shut the f**k up" as Styles and his bandmates walked on stage to present an award.