An organisation that supports children and their families in Wales has admitted it appointed to its board a ‘comedian’ because of his “extensive experience” despite the fact The Eye showed how he had made sick ‘jokes’ about a murdering gunman, used bad language to abuse prominent politicians on social media, and was investigated by the police, it has emerged.
An outraged protester contacted the charity Mudiad Meithrin (MM) about naming contentious Huw Marshall to help oversee the organisation as a voluntary director, and waited more than a month for a substantive response to his complaint, yet when he followed it up one arrived within hours.
The MM Board of Directors Chair Rhodri Llwyd Morgan told the angry critic: “Huw Marshall has extensive experience as a volunteer with Mudiad committees locally and regionally and a range of other voluntary experiences and professional skills”. And: “I am satisfied that he will make a valuable contribution to the Board’s work”.
But the complainant remained deeply unimpressed by the response, and told MM: “I find your reply incredible. Huw Marshall’s “extensive experience” that you talk of, appears to extend to calling senior politicians ‘twats’ on social media, being put under police investigation for harassment, making sick jokes about a gunman who had murdered people, and being rebuked by Twitter for his language.
Mr Marshall, the man behind a ‘new national media service for Wales‘, ‘joked’ about Raoul Moat after he had shot and killed two people, described as ‘twats’ a former member of the National Assembly for Wales as well as a present Welsh minister, and an inquiry was launched into him by South Wales Police (SWP) over allegations of harassment.
The furious critic of MM had sent a copy of The Eye’s original story about Mr Marshall in an irate email to officials, and in response he was initially informed last month: “We’ll consider its contents”. He told us at the time: “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?”.
In announcing the appointment to its board, MM said it was “delighted”, perhaps unaware that Mr Marshall has also been severely reprimanded by social media giant Twitter because one “account violated the Twitter Rules”, and it found that another, “WelshBollocks”, had broken the rules as well.
But his social media experience appears to have been a major attraction for MM despite the rebuke. The charity declared: “Huw Marshall… is the founder of ‘Yr Awr Gymraeg’ – a Twitter account which promotes Welsh-medium activities and events… “.
The extraordinary situation has even been the subject of our satirical writer Edwin Phillips.
In 2013, it was disclosed that Mr Marshall had made the 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 use of social media has always been intense, and it obviously piqued the interest of an organisation which proclaims “We understand that finding the right childcare (Welsh-medium) for your child is very important”.
Two people died and a police officer lost the sight in both eyes when Moat shot them, yet on July 8, 2010 – with him trying to escape from armed police – 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 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”.
Mr Marshall’s “extensive experience” is also evident in the political arena, for Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru (PC).
He was the PC 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 these so-called ‘jokes’, and published the offensive remarks to politicians on social media.
Perhaps it has been Mr Marshall’s apparent ‘entrepreneurship’ which appealed to MM, although critics doubt that any of his schemes will come to fruition.
He claims to be looking into launching a number of companies to ‘benefit’ the public, and 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”.
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…..”
Mr Marshall has, too, used the internet to announce his ‘plans’ for an ‘unbiased’ ‘news’ service for Wales, New Media Wales (NMW), to which huge amounts of money have been pledged by members of the public, which could also have proved attractive to MM officials.
His ‘plans’ for NMW have featured as well in 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”.
Yet our investigations have revealed that a few weeks ago Mr Marshall had in fact gained a total of 179 patrons pledging £1,221 per month, but he has said he needed a lot more – 500 to launch.
Mr Marshall is clearly not short of confidence however (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 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 NMW 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”.
He has also said he has contacted the police but that there was 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, officers though responded by informing him that they have a “responsibility to investigate any reports”.
Meanwhile The Eye’s research has confirmed there are ‘plans’ to run NMW with just four reporters, yet 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.
But MM’s appointment as a voluntary director has clearly registered with one angry observer of these extraordinary events.
His anger has only been made worse by MM saying they appointed because of his “extensive experience” a ‘comedian’ who had made sick ‘jokes’ about a murdering gunman, called prominent politicians ‘twats’, was reprimanded by Twitter, and placed under investigation by the police.
Also on The Eye – disturbing revelations about ANOTHER Welsh ‘comedian’ involved in a children’s organisation, who has been reprimanded by a social media company over his use of foul language.
Tomorrow – why it is no joke to give public money to a politician forced to resign and stood by an ‘aide’ who sabotaged a court case as well as abused opposition politicians.
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!