JK Rowling has accepted an apology from a Labour frontbencher who had accused the Harry Potter author of exploiting her historic sex attack ordeal amid an ongoing heated row over transgender rights.

The Edinburgh-based author has been at the centre of the storm, subjected to extreme online abuse and accusations of transphobia after she responded to a headline on an article stating "people who menstruate", by tweeting: "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud".

Igniting a torrent of criticism, Ms Rowling then wrote a personal essay documenting a "serious sexual assault" suffered in her 20s that she said had informed her views on women's rights.

However, in an article published in left-wing magazine, Tribune, Labour MP for Brighton, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the shadow environment minister, accused the author of promoting "hate" towards trans people and of exploiting her sexual assault.

He wrote: "Recently, of course, we saw people like JK Rowling using her own sexual assault as justification for discriminating against a group of people who were not responsible for it."

Yesterday, he tweeted "I want to apologies [SIC] unreservedly," adding: "Whilst I may disagree with some of her analysis on trans rights, it was wrong of me to suggest that she used her own dreadful experience in anything other than good faith."

Miss Rowling took to her own twitter thereafter, including excerpts of her essay that expressed concern for trans women and also said that "when you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he's a woman - and, as I've said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or homones - then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside".

She said: "This morning, Mr Russell-Moyle issued an apology on Twitter, although he didn’t trouble to tag me in. Coincidentally, his change of heart occurred after his remarks were repeated in national newspapers with higher circulations than Tribune.

"Since writing my essay, I’ve received over 3000 emails thanking me for speaking up. I’ve been brought to tears many times while reading, sometimes out of gratitude for their kindness, but also because many women have shared their own experiences of violence & sexual assault."

She added: "As I stated in my essay, my primary worry is the risks to vulnerable women. As everyone knows, I’m no longer reliant on communal facilities, nor am I likely to be imprisoned or need a women's refuge any time soon. I’m not arguing for the privileged, but the powerless. When so-called leftists like Lloyd Russell-Moyle demand that we give up our hard won sex-based rights, they align themselves squarely with men’s rights activists."

Ms Rowling said "I accept Lloyd Russell Moyle's apology in the hope that he'll dig a little deeper than hashtags and slogans. He might then understand why increasing numbers of people are deeply concerned about UK Labour's position on women's rights."