Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall has announced he will be taking a break from the band after receiving backlash for praising a right-wing writer.
The musician was criticised after tweeting support for conservative US journalist Andy Ngo over the weekend.
In a now-deleted post, Marshall said he had read Ngo’s “important” book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan To Destroy Democracy and praised him as a “brave man”.
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The endorsement was swiftly condemned by many, with fellow musicians Sleaford Mods tweeting: "That fact this t** from Mumford is openly showing his support for continued oppression/fascism/the interests of greed, is almost normal now. He inhabits the same landscape most large bands do. Will exist in environments that offer a service to free-minded people. It’s f*****."
In a statement to Twitter on Wednesday, Marshall said: “Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed. I have offended not only a lot of people I don’t know, but also those closest to me, including my bandmates and for that I am truly sorry.
“As a result of my actions I am taking time away from the band to examine my blindspots.”
“For now, please know that I realise how my endorsements have the potential to be viewed as approvals of hateful, divisive behaviour. I apologise, as this was not at all my intention.”
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Ngo’s book claims to expose a “violent extremist movement”. Critics say it inflates the size and threat of the left-wing antifa movement, which was a frequent target of Donald Trump.
The remaining members of Mumford & Sons are Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane.
With additional reporting by PA.
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