It appears The Eye may have made an enemy of a senior politician in the Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru (WP/SC).
The controversial Labour Member of the WP/SC Alun Davies has ‘liked’ a tweet attacking us from contentious ‘comedian’ Huw Marshall.
But Mr Marshall had made sick ‘jokes’ about a murdering gunman, used bad language to abuse other prominent politicians, was placed under police investigation and been severely reprimanded by a social media company, yet now claims he is creating a ‘new national media service for Wales‘ called New Media Wales (NMW) and has asked the public for hundreds of pounds.
The tweet from him that Mr Davies ‘liked’ has now been ‘padlocked’.
It comes after that news that politicians apart from Mr Davies have incurred the wrath of Mr Marshall.
Also on Twitter, it has been disclosed that he made extremely offensive remarks to two senior political figures in 2013 (one in Mr Davies’ own party and the other in an opposition group), and complaints after further comments led to the reprimands.
One of the insults 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 Welsh nationalist party 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”.
Mr Marshall’s use of social media has always been intense, and it appears Mr Davies is an admiring follower of his on Twitter.
Two people had died and a police officer lost the sight in both eyes when 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 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 financing the ventures appears problematic for Mr Marshall, 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 declare his ‘plans’ for NMW which was to be an ‘unbiased’ ‘news’ service for Wales, to which huge amounts of money have been pledged by members of the public.
His ‘proposals’ for NMW have even 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 recently Mr Marshall had in fact 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, though, clearly not short of confidence, which may also have been attractive to Mr Davies, and 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’.
Yet Mr Marshall 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…”
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 (SWP) that he intended to make a complaint, however officers responded by informing him that they have a “responsibility to investigate any reports”.
Meanwhile The Eye’s research has confirmed that Mr Marshall’s scheme is 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.
Yet Mr Davies too has made headlines.
In the Spring he suffered a sudden heart attack while out running and had to be revived with a defibrilator.
However Mr Davies will not have wanted to make the news for other reasons as well.
In 2005, while Labour’s candidate for Ceredigion, he clashed with Welsh actor Rhys Ifans at a Cardiff hotel over support for the Iraq War.
The police were called, but no charges were brought, and Mr Davies subsequently apologised.
After becoming a member of (what was then) the National Assembly for Wales in 2007, he was criticised for claiming back mortgage interest payments for a home he bought in Cardiff five years before he became an Assembly Member.
In 2013 he was criticised by the cross-party Environment and Sustainability Committee for being evasive during a question session and giving contradictory answers.
In the Spring of 2014 he confessed to entering into a relationship with his own special advisor, Anna McMorrin (now MP for Cardiff North), and confirmed that as a result both had left their long term partners.
Ms McMorrin was moved from her role.
In June 2014, the First Minister of Wales (FMW) at the time, Carwyn Jones, announced an investigation into a letter Mr Davies had written to Natural Resources Wales (NRW) regarding environmental worries over the proposed development of the Circuit of Wales race track in his own constituency.
NRW had expressed concerns about the race track.
On July 8 2014 he was summarily sacked by Mr Jones following repeated written requests to his civil servants for the private details of Common Agricultural Policy payments made to opposition politicians.
Mr Davies toured television studios with a written statement, but in some refused to take questions.
Even so he was clearly not chastened by these experiences, and in October 2018 Mr Davies was criticised for comparing councils who asked for extra funding to Oliver Twist.
Mr Davies started his political career in PC and Mr Marshall too has a widely publicised link to this party.
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 politicians on social media.
Clearly The Eye too have offended Mr Davies if he has ‘liked’ a tweet undermining us.
Apart from politics, Mr Davies also has a background in Public Relations (PR) for the Welsh utility Hyder.
But perhaps it is not such good PR to ‘like’ a tweet which attacks a media outlet from someone who has made sick ‘jokes’ about a murdering gunman, called senior politicians ‘twats’, been chastised by a social media company and placed under investigation by the police.
Tomorrow – we take an irreverent look at a media star who says she is coming ‘home’ to Wales but was born in England.
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!