In a Medium post, published on Thursday (June 24), Mumford & Sons guitarist Winston Marshall announced his permanent departure from the popular folk/rock band. “As you might imagine it’s been no easy decision,” he writes, reflecting upon his entire journey with the group since their early days in 2007.
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The news comes after a brief hiatus back in March following a tweet in which he praised a book called Unmasked, written by right-wing author-activist Andy Ngo. “Congratulations @MrAndyNgo. Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man,” he wrote in the now-deleted tweet.
“Over the course of 24 hours it was trending with tens of thousands of angry retweets and comments,” he now reflects. “I failed to foresee that my commenting on a book critical of the Far-Left could be interpreted as approval of the equally abhorrent Far-Right.
“Despite being four individuals we were, in the eyes of the public, a unity. Furthermore it’s our singer’s name on the tin. That name was being dragged through some pretty ugly accusations, as a result of my tweet,” he continues. “The distress brought to them and their families that weekend I regret very much. I remain sincerely sorry for that. Unintentionally, I had pulled them into a divisive and totemic issue. Emotions were high. Despite pressure to nix me they invited me to continue with the band. That took courage, particularly in the age of so called ‘cancel culture.’ I made an apology and agreed to take a temporary step back.”
Marshall goes on to detail his inward journey of “reflecting, reading and listening” over the last few months, claiming, “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.”
Ultimately, he hopes “in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences. I leave with love in my heart and I wish those three boys nothing but the best. I have no doubt that their stars will shine long into the future. I will continue my work with Hong Kong Link Up and I look forward to new creative projects as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues, challenging as they may be.”
Read the full post over on Medium.