Winston Marshall Leaves Mumford & Sons After Being Labeled A Conservative

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Winston Marshall, guitarist-banjoist with chart-topping group Mumford & Sons, has quit the band following controversy around his support for Unmasked, a book decrying the leftist protest movement antifa.

In March, Marshall had tweeted to the book’s author, conservative journalist Andy Ngo: “Congratulations. Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.” Following an online backlash, he apologized, and announced he would take time away from the group. “Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed,” he said, adding that he would “examine my blindspots”.

Marshall has now fully quit Mumford & Sons. In a blog post, he writes:

I have spent much time reflecting, reading, and listening. The truth is that my commenting on a book that documents the extreme far left and their activities is in no way an endorsement of the equally repugnant far-right. The truth is that reporting on extremism at the great risk of endangering oneself is unquestionably brave. I also feel that my previous apology in a small way participates in the lie that such extremism does not exist, or worse, is a force for good … For me to speak about what I’ve learned to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble. My love, loyalty, and accountability to them cannot permit that. I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity … The only way forward for me is to leave the band. I hope in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences.
He wished his former band members well and added of his time with them: “What a blessing it was to be so close to such talent as theirs. It will be with immense pride that I look back at my time with Mumford & Sons. A legacy of songs that I believe will stand the test of ages.”

He concluded: “I look forward to new creative projects as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues, challenging as they may be.”

Marshall had played with the band since they formed in 2007. They have released four albums, each of them reaching either No 1 or No 2 in both the UK and US charts.

Mumford & Sons wrote on Twitter: “We wish you all the best for the future, Win, and we love you, man.”