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One Direction deny split rumours amid speculation Louis Tomlinson to quit band after world tour

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One Direction, pictured prior to Zayn Malik's shock departure

One Direction, pictured prior to Zayn Malik's shock departure

One Direction, pictured prior to Zayn Malik's shock departure

One Direction have spoken out to quash rumours they are set to split up in the wake of Zayn Malik's departure.

The band have vowed to continue as a four-piece after the pop star left so he can live like a "normal" 22 year-old.

His shock departure was swiftly followed by reports the group is on the verge of breaking up, but singer Liam Payne thanked fans for sticking with the band and "not thinking it's finished".

He tweeted: "I can see a lot of people thanking us for staying but your the real Heros (sic) here thanks for not thinking it's finished."

The band have continued their tour and have been playing concerts in South Africa, amid reports that Louis Tomlinson was planning to exit the band when the tour finished.

Tomlinson and Malik were very close, and would regularly take the same private jet together.

Bradford-born Zayn quit the group last week after jetting back to Britain having been "signed off with stress" amid reports he had cheated on his 21 year-old fiance Perrie Edwards.

He told The Sun newspaper he was "upset" for the group's many millions of devoted fans - known as "Directioners".

And he insisted there is no bad blood between him and his former bandmates, who he said have been "really supportive".

He is believed to be working on a solo album with acclaimed music producer Naughty Boy, who has worked with a string of hit-makers including Emeli Sande, Cheryl Cole and Leona Lewis.

Online Editors