Mumford & Sons' Winston Marshall taking 'time away' from band after apologising for tweet

Amy Johnson
·2-min read
Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons performs during the Okeechobee Music Festival at Sunshine Grove on March 08, 2020 in Okeechobee, Florida. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage)
Winston Marshall of Mumford & Sons performs during the Okeechobee Music Festival at Sunshine Grove in March 2020 in Okeechobee, Florida. (Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage)

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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(L-R) Winston Marshall, Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford, and Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons attend the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T-Mobile Arena on September 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images)
(L-R) Winston Marshall, Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Bryan Steffy/Getty Images)

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.”

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“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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