The social media account for a controversial ‘new media’ service in Wales run by a contentious ‘comedian’ who made sick ‘jokes’ about a murdering gunman, used bad language to abuse publicly prominent politician and was placed under police investigation, has been suspended because it broke the rules, The Eye can reveal.
‘Comedian’, Huw Marshall’s other personal Twitter accounts have been padlocked so they cannot be seen, despite the fact that he is using the internet to ask the public for hundreds of pounds to start New Media Wales (NMW) in a headline-grabbing ‘crowdfunding’ scheme.
However Mr Marshall’s ‘Patraeon’ account where he also asks the public for money remains in place.
The shock news casts further doubts among critics about the viability of NMW which is supposedly to be run by Mr Marshall’s Editor with just four reporters, although there are severe doubts as to whether a ‘national media service’ can be delivered with such a small number, and there is no registration for NMW at Companies House.
The ‘proposals’ by Mr Marshall for NMW have even made the UK media, and been featured on HoldtheFrontPage.Co.UK – a website for UK journalists.
It reported: “In a blog post about his plans, Huw wrote: ‘We are developing a fully functioning news and media business to serve the whole of Wales, one that delivers the level of service you would expect from a national platform’”.
In an alarming disclosure, the website also stated: “So far a crowdfunding initiative has seen 48 patrons pledge a total of £333 per month to the project”.
Our investigations revealed that a few weeks ago Mr Marshall had in fact secured a total of 179 patrons pledging £1,221 per month, but he has said he needed a lot more – 500 to launch.
The disturbing information about the suspension of the NMW Twitter account and stopping people seeing other posts, comes hard on the heels of our revelations that Mr Marshall was seriously reprimanded by the social media giant because an account “violated the Twitter Rules”, and a further one, “Welsh Bollocks”, had also broken their regulations.
In 2013, it emerged that Mr Marshall had made extremely offensive remarks to senior politicians on Twitter, and complaints after further comments led to the reprimands.
One insult seven years ago, was directed at the Labour MS and minister Ken Skates with another hurled at the former Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black.
After Mr Skates tweeted in celebration of a one-vote council by-election victory over Plaid Cymru (PC) in Ruabon, Mr Marshall referred to him in his own tweet as a “gloating t**t”, and he described Mr Black as a “humourless t..t”, as well as a “dull, tedious t..t”.
It also comes soon after The Eye divulged that he had made so-called ‘jokes’ about murdering gunman Raoul Moat (again on social media) while he was still on the run from armed police.
Two people had died and a police officer lost the sight in both eyes when Moat shot them, yet despite this on July 8, 2010 Mr Marshall published a message on his Facebook (FB) site, reading: “Hi I’m a sexy 19 year old blond (sic) from the North East of England looking for some fun.
“My Mr Right should be a big strong ginger man with a fiery temper and a jealous nature, who also enjoys camping and writing long letters.
“If this sounds like you contact me at email@example.com.”
Another post read: “Moat reward… if he isn’t caught by next Wednesday, the rewards (sic) being doubled. It’s going to be a Raul (sic) over”.
But this has not stopped Mr Marshall, as he has alarmingly proclaimed on social media that he is working on other projects, for which funding has proved difficult, and been appointed to the Welsh children and families support group Mudiad Meithrin (MM).
MM said it was “delighted” to have secured Mr Marshall as a voluntary director but others said officials should have checked his background.
One furious critic sent a copy of The Eye’s original story about Mr Marshall in an irate email to MM, and in response an official told him: “We’ll consider its contents”.
He told us: “This is outrageous. Didn’t they CHECK?!”
Another angry commentator said: “The whole thing is unbelievable. Surely Mudiad Meithrin looked into the background of the man before they made him a director?”.
The extraordinary situation has even been the subject of our satirical writer Edwin Phillips.
Neutrality too may be an issue for MM’s new director, and given that the Welsh Government (WG) is run by another party from the one he represented, this could be difficult for an organisation like MM.
In 1992 Mr Marshall stood as PC’s Parliamentary candidate in Cardiff Central, coming fourth with just 748 votes, however his plans to stand for election as a councillor were scuppered when it emerged that he had posted the so-called ‘jokes’ about Moat, and published the offensive remarks to senior politicians on social media.
Perhaps it has been his apparent ‘entrepreneurship’ which appealed to MM, although critics doubt that any of his ideas will come to fruition.
Mr Marshall claims to be looking into launching a number of companies, apart from NMW, to ‘benefit’ the public.
He has said on Twitter: “Currently working on the development of a couple of new companies. My first considerations are what is the problem we are trying to solve, what are the benefits to the public and society? I haven’t given any thought to an exit valuation and salary… Maybe I’m doing it wrong”.
In an internet post last week about NMW he claimed an Editor and team of four journalists were prepared, but he still wanted the public to give him more money.
He said: “We are now in the final stages of discussion with our media partners with regards (sic) the service we will be delivering, which areas do we prioritise for launch and how we plan to grow the title.
“We have an experienced editor in place and a team of four journalists ready to go to work…Without subscribers we are destined to fail.
“If you value what we are creating you can become a supporter by visiting our patreon page below where you can sign up for as little as £3 a month.”
But financing his ventures appears problematic and he has also stated on the social media site: “Just had feedback on an unsuccessful funding bid. I use the word feedback in the loosest possible term…..”.
Yet Mr Marshall is clearly not short on confidence (and that too may have been among the reasons MM was so ‘delighted’ with its catch) and he presumably believes he will reach his target for patrons.
In a recent tweet he vowed that he could save a large amount of money for Wales’ biggest broadcaster BBC Cymru Wales (BBC CW), but others have stated on Twitter that he is a ‘bully’.
Mr Marshall, though, appears undaunted by the criticism and has proclaimed on social media: “…I could go in to the BBC tomorrow and save millions without impacting the content they produce…”
One potential donor has declared that he wants the operation to be “unbiased” and not “nationalist” – possibly ignorant of the ‘co-ordinator’s’ background.
He said on Twitter: “I really hope it will be unbiased and not rammed with the anti-government nationalist diatribe from another Welsh news outlet…” and Mr Marshall answered: “Our main aim isn’t to tell people what to think…”.
Evidently Mr Marshall is also sensitive to criticism, and has posted on Twitter that there will be legal involvement after our disclosures.
He has said on Twitter “…the time will shortly come when lawyers get involved”.
Mr Marshall also says he has contacted the police but that there is little they can do as “it is a waste of their precious time”, and “I really pity those who try to undermine my work and reputation”.
But it seems the police HAVE had time to investigate Mr Marshall for alleged harassment.
On Twitter he told South Wales Police that he intended to make a complaint, however officers responded by informing him that they have a “responsibility to investigate any reports”.
But news of this police investigation will not feature on one of the NMW social media accounts as it has been suspended for violating “the Twitter rules”, and people will not be able to see it on Mr Marshall’s personal accounts either because they have been padlocked…
Tomorrow – why a new presenter at a troubled Welsh broadcaster needs to steer clear of having an affair with the station’s Editor like her predecessor.
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his astonishing 37-year award-winning career in journalism (before the advent of NMW) as he was gripped by the rare disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!