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A former Welsh nationalist party candidate exclusively exposed by The Eye has been severely reprimanded by Twitter yet continues to claim controversially that he is starting a new ‘media’ service to which prominent public figures have pledged hundreds of pounds even though he has made sick ‘jokes’ about a murderous gunman, is under investigation by the police for alleged harassment and has insulted senior politicians on social media, it has emerged.
Huw Marshall, a ‘comedian’ and ‘digital co-ordinator’, was investigated by the giant social media company, and it has been found that the “account violated the Twitter Rules”.
It was found that his account “Welsh Bollocks” had also broken the rules.
In 2013, it was revealed that Mr Marshall had made extremely offensive remarks to senior politicians, on Twitter, and complaints after further comments led to the reprimands.
One insult at the time 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.
He made public ‘jokes’ on Facebook (FB) while the murdering gunman Raoul Moat was on the run.
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 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”.
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.
Despite this disturbing background he has used the internet to declare his ‘plans’ for an ‘unbiased’ ‘news’ service for Wales, New Media Wales (NMW), to which huge amounts of public money have been pledged.
In the online launch ‘manifesto’ for NMW, Mr Marshall wrote: “We will be politically neutral, we have to be, our aim will be to deliver scrutiny and clarity around the policies being proposed by the various political parties in Wales in the run up to the Welsh general election being contested in May 2021″.
His ‘plans’ for NMW have also featured 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”.
Our investigations reveal 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 presumably believes he will reach his target this time.
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…”
But the neutrality of NMW has been questioned given that the man behind it has stood as a candidate for PC.
One potential donor has proclaimed he wants the operation to be “unbiased” and not “nationalist” – perhaps unaware 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 declared 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 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.
Details about the new ‘media service’ have been given added weight after the recent announcement of redundancies at the UK’s biggest newspaper owner, Reach, and is likely to raise hopes among many journalists in Wales.
Reach owns Media Wales (MW) which is a big player in the Welsh media sector.
But half the staff working at MW have now been told their jobs are under threat, according to the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
MW publishes the Western Mail, South Wales Echo and the website WalesOnline, and more than 70 workers there could lose their jobs.
Yet grabbing the headlines has been common for Mr Marshall, and he uses the internet a great deal in pursuit of his political aims but not always wisely, as the rebuke by Twitter has shown.
The reprimands could be a major blow for Mr Marshall as he has used the internet so much in his attempts to launch NMW securing pledges of hundreds of pounds, in making jokes about a murdering gunman while he was still on the run, and by abusing leading politicians in Wales.
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his astonishing 36-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!