A founding member of the English folk rock act Mumford & Sons said today in a Medium post that he’s leaving the band in order to avoid tainting them with his personal political opinions.
Winston Marshall created a firestorm on social media in March when he tweeted support for journalist Andy Ngo’s book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, which examines the radical leftist group’s history and tactics.
The guitarist and banjo player subsequently took a brief break from the band in March. Although he says his group had “invited me to continue with them,” he has now decided to leave so that he could “speak freely without them suffering the consequences.”
Marshall insisted that he was not endorsing the far right by praising Ngo’s book, saying, “Nothing could be further from the truth. I condemn unequivocally all political extremism, be it of the Right or Left.”
“As long as I am a member of the band, speaking my mind on the evils of political extremism could bring them trouble. My loyalty and love for them cannot permit that,” Marshall said.
He will now be working on his new charity, Hong Kong Link Up, and new creative projects, “as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues,” he wrote.
Formed in London in 2007, Mumford & Sons won the Album of the Year Grammy for their 2012 record Babel.
“We wish you all the best for the future, Win, and we love you man,” the three other band members — Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane — wrote on Instagram in response to the Marshall announcement
“Why I’m Leaving Mumford & Sons” by Winston Marshallhttps://t.co/JUraN3IDr3
— Winston Marshall (@MrWinMarshall) June 24, 2021