Winston Marshall, guitarist-banjoist for the chart-topping band Mumford & Sons, has left the band following controversy surrounding his support for Unmasked, a book denouncing the left-wing anti-fa protest movement.
In March, Marshall tweeted to author of the book, conservative journalist Andy Ngo: “Congratulations. Finally had time to read your important book. You are a brave man. Following an online reaction, he apologized and said he would take time out with the group. “Over the past few days, I have come to understand better the pain caused by the book that I approved,” he said, adding that he would “examine my blind spots”.
Marshall has now left Mumford & Sons completely. In a blog post, he writes:
I spent a lot of time thinking, reading and listening. The truth is that my comment on a book that documents the far left and their activities is by no means an equally disgusting endorsement of the far right. The truth is that reporting extremism at great risk of endangering oneself is unquestionably courageous. I also feel that my previous apologies participate to a small extent in the lie that such extremism does not exist, or worse, is a force for good… For me, talking about what I have learned as being such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my group mates more problems. My love, loyalty and responsibility to them cannot allow this. I could stay and continue to censor myself but it will erode my sense of integrity… The only way forward for me is to leave the group. I hope that by moving away from them I will be able to say what I think without them suffering the consequences.
He wished his former band members good luck and added of his time with them: “What a blessing it has been to be so close to a talent like theirs. It will be with great pride that I look back on my time at Mumford & Sons. A legacy of songs that I believe will stand the test of time.
He concluded, “I look forward to new creative endeavors as well as speaking and writing about a variety of issues, no matter how difficult. “
Marshall had been playing with the band since their formation in 2007. They released four albums, each of which reached either number 1 or number 2 on the UK and US charts.
Mumford & Fils wrote on Twitter: “We wish you all the best for the future, Win, and we love you man. “