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A ‘comedian’ who made sick ‘jokes’ about a murdering gunman, used bad language to abuse publicly prominent politicians, was placed under police investigation and is allegedly starting a new Welsh media service receiving for it hundreds of pounds in pledges from the public, attended hospital but proclaimed jokingly that he doesn’t understand social distancing rules, The Eye can reveal.
Huw Marshall published a picture of himself on social media wearing a mask at a clinic beneath a sign urging people to keep their distance, but asked provocatively what it meant with a laughing emoji after the comment.
Mr Marshall declared: “Waiting to see the surgeon in a&e…… What’s that sign mean?”.
Yet he has fallen foul of rules before – but on Twitter.
He was severely reprimanded because one of his accounts “violated the Twitter Rules”, and it was found that another, “Welsh Bollocks”, had also broken their regulations.
In 2013, it was disclosed 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”. Mr Marshall also described Mr Black as a “humourless t..t” and a “dull, tedious t..t”.
But his remarks on another social media platform, Facebook (FB), have been little better.
Two people died and a police officer lost the sight in both eyes when rampaging gunman Raoul Moat shot them, yet despite this on July 8, 2010 – with him trying to escape from armed police – Mr Marshall published a message on his 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.”
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 it is Mr Marshall’s weight, as well as his ‘comedy’, which appears to be a problem, and may be an issue in writing stories about overweight people with his ‘new media’ service for Wales.
While he was in hospital he posted on social media that he had to lose a large amount of weight over a short time, and that this could prove difficult.
Neutrality is a fundamental tenet of journalism, but this too could be hard for Mr Marshall, and given that the Welsh Government (WG) is run by another party from the one he represented, this might be difficult for an organisation like Mudiad Meithrin (MM) which helps parents find Welsh-speaking child-care and has announced he was to be their new voluntary director.
In 1992 he 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 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 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”.
More recently Mr Marshall has claimed he is thinking of a ‘game’ about independence for Wales and needs assistance.
He has said on Twitter: “Are there any indygame devs out there? I need your help with an AMAZING project….
Even in November 2016 (years after his indiscretions) he was used as an ‘expert’ on the Welsh media.
Mr Marshall formed part of a panel on The Future of the Welsh Media at the University of South Wales (USW) in Cardiff along with Bethan (then) Jenkins AM, Martin Shipton (then) Chief Reporter of the Western Mail and Dr Ruth McElroy of USW.
The discussion was described in literature afterwards as “packed” (sic) and Ms Jenkins said: “although broadcasting is not devolved, it’s an area of great importance to public life in Wales”.
But financing his many ventures appears problematic, and Mr Marshall has also stated on social media: “Just had feedback on an unsuccessful funding bid. I use the word feedback in the loosest possible term…..”
Yet from his own account on Twitter he appears to have received public money for a ‘language project’ which has been endorsed as “Newyddion da (Good news)” by Helen Mary Jones MS.
Mr Marshall has also tweeted about being ‘taught’ the lessons of colonialism by a Chilean.
He said a woman had proclaimed: “‘We know the Welsh…they took our land'” and he added: “It taught me a lesson about colonialism…”
Mr Marshall has, too, used the internet to announce his ‘plans’ for the ‘unbiased’ new ‘news’ service for Wales, called New Media Wales (NMW), to which huge amounts of money have been pledged by members of the public, which could also have been attractive to MM officials.
His ‘proposals’ for NMW have 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 a total of 179 patrons pledging £1,221 per month, but he has said he needed a lot more.
Online he has stated: “Our business model requires an element of subscription, it’s vital from a sustainability perspective, and is particularly vital during our first twelve months as we develop other revenue streams. We need to attract a minimum of 500 subscribers in order to launch”.
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) because he presumably believes he will reach this 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 that he is a ‘bully’.
Mr Marshall, though, appears undaunted by the criticism and has said on social media: “I could go in to the BBC tomorrow and save millions without impacting the content they produce…”
One potential donor has announced 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”.
Yet it seems the police HAVE had time to investigate Mr Marshall for alleged harassment.
On Twitter he told South Wales Police (SWP) that he intended to make a complaint, however officers responded by informing him that they have a “responsibility to investigate any reports”, and they were were provided with a screenshot of Mr Marshall’s website Welsh Bollocks where he admitted sending a fake takeaway delivery to the home of someone he did not like.
Meanwhile The Eye’s research has confirmed that Mr Marshall’s plan is to run NMW with just four reporters, but there are serious questions 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.
Despite this, to start such a service he will have to know the law and not make fun of it as he has done…
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!