Howls of outrage have greeted our exclusive revelation that a ‘comedian’ who made sick ‘jokes’ about a murdering gunman, used bad language to abuse publicly prominent politicians, placed under police investigation and been reprimanded by a social media company, was appointed to help run an organisation that supports children and their families in Wales.
The extraordinary situation has even been the subject of our satirical writer Edwin Phillips.
Mudiad Meithrin (MM) said it was “delighted” to have secured Huw Marshall as a director, the man behind a ‘new national media service for Wales‘, yet he had ‘joked’ about Raoul Moat after he had shot and killed two people, called members of the Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament (WP) ‘twats’, and faced inquiries by South Wales Police (SWP) officers.
One furious critic sent a copy of The Eye’s 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?”.
In announcing the voluntary appointment to its board, MM (which supports children and their families finding Welsh-medium childcare) was perhaps unaware that Mr Marshall has been severely reprimanded by the social media giant Twitter because one of his accounts “violated the Twitter Rules”, and 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 use of social media has always been intense, and it could have prompted the interest of an organisation which proclaims “We understand that finding the right childcare (Welsh-medium) for your child is very important”.
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 – 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”.
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 these so-called ‘jokes’, 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”.
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 declare 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 ‘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 – 500 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 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”.
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.
But it seems his appointment to MM DID register with critics who are outraged that a man has been named as a director of the organisation despite calling senior Welsh politicians ‘twats’, being under investigation by the police, enduring a reprimand from Twitter, and making sick ‘jokes’ about a murdering gunman.
Tomorrow – why another PC supporter and so-called media ‘expert’ is in hot water over accusations about an alleged ‘conflict of interest’.
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!