Former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has been criticised by fans for her 19 January endorsement of US presidential candidate Donald Trump. The frontrunner for the Republican ticket was backed by the self-proclaimed 'hockey mom' at a special announcement in Ames, Iowa, a region whose vote Trump is desperate to court.

But fans of the outspoken former governor did not react well to the news, with several of her Facebook likers claiming she was backing a candidate who was too liberal and did not share her Christian views.

One fan, Janet Prentice, wrote on Palin's Facebook page: "As a Tea Party and small government person, this saddens me. I now know I really threw my vote away in 2008. God grant you wisdom if you really love your country and constitution."

Another, Christopher Ballard, who declared he would throw his support behind Ted Cruz, wrote: "WTH!?! I thought you were a constitutional conservative!? Sorry to see you lost your soul, or maybe you never had it and I was duped... very disappointed.

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"I used to like you Sarah Palin. You blew it by endorsing this liberal dressed in a Republican suit. There is absolutely nothing conservative about Trump. He is a blow-hard who needs to get real and tell the truth about his own agenda.

"You blind sheep who are buying into his game are going to end up putting the final nail in this country's coffin. We will be a socialist nation no longer known as a constitutional republic. Ted Cruz you have my vote."

It is thought campaigners at Trump HQ were keen to use Palin to appeal to Iowa's conservative Christian crowd – whom The Donald has failed to impress thus far in the race with his liberal stance on abortion and lack of biblical knowledge, New York Times reported.

However, not all of Palin's fans disliked the idea of the former governor's Iowa endorsement, with some even backing the idea of a Trump/Palin ticket.

Palin and Trump have previously supported one another, including Trump's endorsement of the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008, and the pair's subsequent open mutual admiration.

However, Palin had also previously backed Trump's closest competitor for the Republican ticket, Ted Cruz, in his Senate bid in 2012.

Following Palin's Iowa speech, Cruz tweeted: "I love @SarahPalinUSA. Without her support I wouldn't be in the Senate. Regardless of what she does in 2016, I will always be a big fan."