Winston Marshall announced he has quit Mumford & Sons so he can speak “freely” on politics without negatively affecting his bandmates.
The banjoist, who was forced to take a step back from the band after he praised a book that condemns the destructive rise of Antifa, published an essay on Medium detailing his decision to leave the “Little Lion Man” group, saying having to “self-censor” would “erode my sense of integrity.”
“For me to speak about what I’ve learnt to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble,” Marshall, 33, explained. “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. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning.
“The only way forward for me is to leave the band,” he continued. “I hope in distancing myself from them I am able to speak my mind without them suffering the consequences.”
Marshall maintained that he floats “between ‘centrist,’ ‘liberal’ or the more honest ‘bit this, bit that,’” in terms of his political leanings but after his since-deleted tweet promoting “Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy,” he felt he was being labeled “erroneously.”
“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,” he explained.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. Thirteen members of my family were murdered in the concentration camps of the Holocaust. My Grandma, unlike her cousins, aunts and uncles, survived. She and I were close. My family knows the evils of fascism painfully well. To say the least. To call me ‘fascist’ was ludicrous beyond belief.”
Despite a previous report claiming that the band — which also comprises Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane — had given him the boot, Marshall praised them for supporting him after he came under fire.
“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 explained, adding that he later regretted the apology because of what it meant.
“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,” he wrote.
Marshall ended his missive by informing his fans that he would continue his work with Hong Kong Link Up and said he was looking forward to”new creative projects as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues, challenging as they may be.”