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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, proclaimed an update on the plan would be announced but nothing happened, it has emerged.
The disturbing information appears to confirm the suspicion of critics that the project may never actually be realised, although huge sums of money have already been promised for it.
Huw Marshall declared last week on social media, that fresh details would be revealed on a certain day about New Media Wales (NMW), but when it passed no facts had been disclosed.
The Eye’s research has confirmed that Mr Marshall’s design 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.
But 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’”.
The website also alarmingly divulged: “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 ‘achieved’ 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”.
But Mr Marshall has been no stranger to enormous controversies in the past.
Neutrality is a fundamental tenet of news journalism, yet this could be hard for someone behind a new media service, as Mr Marshall has stood as a candidate for the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru (PC), whose leader Adam Price, has said there needs to be a ‘discussion’ about independence.
Furthermore, given that the Welsh Government (WG) is run by another party from the one he represented, this also might be difficult for an organisation like Mudiad Meithrin (MM) which helps parents find Welsh-speaking child-care, and has announced Mr Marshall as 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 so-called ‘jokes’ about rampaging gunman Raoul Moat, and that he had published offensive remarks to prominent politicians on social media.
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.
It was disclosed in 2013 that Mr Marshall had made the abusive remarks to leading 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 comments 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 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 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 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 be hard.
He 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 said, presumably ‘jokingly’: “Waiting to see the surgeon in a&e…… What’s that sign mean?”.
Perhaps it has been his apparent ‘entrepreneurship’ (as is shown with NMW) which could have appealed to MM, although onlookers 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…”
But evidently Mr Marshall is sensitive to criticism, and has posted on social media that there will be legal involvement after our disclosures.
He has stated 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”.
But the latest reports are no laughing matter about this comedian/entrepreneur who has been placed under police investigation, made sick ‘jokes’ about a murderous gunman and publicly insulted well known politicians
He has claimed he would be giving more details about the new media service to which hundreds of pounds have been pledged, but after the day passed nothing had happened.
Tomorrow, a further review of anti-Semitism is announced into a political party – Huw Marshall’s favourite one, Plaid Cymru.
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his astonishing decades-long 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!