The famed banjoist and political firebrand, Winston Marshall, has quit Mumford & Sons following backlash for praising the renowned agitator Andy Ngo.
He announced his departure was a “difficult decision first brought about by an unintentional Twitter storm” which followed his praise for Ngo’s novel, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy.
The tweet at the start of it all has since been deleted but it referred to the novel as “important” and lauded Ngo as a “brave man” which was met by criticism from Dr Meenal Viz and many others as “a dumbfounding endorsement of fascism.”
In a post published on Medium, Marshall celebrated his time in the band as “exhilarating”, but that it was time to leave.
His statement reads: “From odysseys through the Scottish Islands to headlining Glastonbury, from The Betsy Trotwood to Madison Square Garden. We’ve done it all.”
Adding, “What a blessing it was to be so close to such talent as those three lads. I will look back at it all with immense pride and love. However, after much reflection and consideration, I have decided it is time to move on. This is a difficult decision first brought about by an unintentional Twitter storm.”
He then states: “The book documents the recent activities of the extreme Left in the US. The tweet was misconstrued by many as an endorsement of the equally abhorrent Far-Right. Nothing could be further from the truth. I condemn unequivocally all political extremism, be it of the Right or Left.”
Continuing to say: “At the time of the incident emotions were high and despite the furore, the band invited me to continue with them. Considering the pressure, that took courage.
“I’ve spent much time since reflecting, reading and listening. I know now that, 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.
“However to remain in the band and self-censor will gnaw my conscience, erode my integrity. By leaving I hope to speak freely without them suffering the consequences.”
Marshall then concluded that political activism may well lie ahead for him, as he wrote, he was looking forward to “new creative projects as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues”.