Mumford & Sons Band Member Leaves After Backlash Over Tweet Condemning the ‘Far-Left’
By Movieguide® Staff
Winston Marshall, the banjo player and guitarist for Mumford & Sons since 2007, announced his departure from the band after he received backlash for his political beliefs.
The musician shared an emotional farewell online.
“I loved those first tours,” Marshall wrote. “Being in Mumford & Sons was exhilarating. Every gig was its own adventure. Every gig its own story. Be it odysseys through the Scottish Islands, or soapbox shows in Soho. Where would we sleep that night? Hostels in Fort William, pub floors in Ipswich, even the Travelodge in Carlisle maintains a sort of charm in my mind. We saw the country and then, as things miraculously grew, the world. All the while doing what we loved. Music. And not just any music. These songs meant something.”
He added: “They felt important to me. Songs with the message of hope and love. I was surrounded by three supremely talented song-writers and Marcus, our singer with a one-in-a-million voice.”
Marshall noted that he is thankful for the 10-plus years of performing with the band.
“Fast-forward ten years and we were playing those same songs every night in arenas, flying first-class, staying in luxury hotels and being paid handsomely to do so. I was a lucky boy,” Marshall wrote.
The shocking announcement left many fans wondering what motivated Marshall to say goodbye.
“At the beginning of March I tweeted to American journalist Andy Ngo, author of the New York Times Bestseller, Unmasked. ‘Congratulations @MrAndyNgo. Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man,’” Marshall explained. “Posting about books had been a theme of my social-media throughout the pandemic. I believed this tweet to be as innocuous as the others. How wrong I turned out to be.”
“Over the course of 24 hours it was trending with tens of thousands of angry retweets and comments.” Marshall continued saying that did not mean he was far-right. “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.”
While Marshall apologized for the pain he caused the other band members, he said he stood by what he wrote in the tweet.
“Rather predictably another viral mob came after me, this time for the sin of apologising. Then followed libellous articles calling me ‘right-wing’ and such,” Marshall said. “Though there’s nothing wrong with being conservative, when forced to politically label myself I flutter between ‘centrist’, ‘liberal’ or the more honest ‘bit this, bit that.’ Being labeled erroneously just goes to show how binary political discourse has become. I had criticised the ‘Left,’ so I must be the ‘Right,’ or so their logic goes.”
“I have spent much time reflecting, reading and listening.” Marshall added. “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.”
Marshall revealed that his decision to leave the band was out of the respect and love he has for his bandmates of over a decade.
“For me to speak about what I’ve learnt 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. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning,” Marshall said. “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. I leave with love in my heart and I wish those three boys nothing but the best.”
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