Banjo plucker Winston Marshall has formally exited the folk-rock band Mumford & Sons after supporting a controversial right-wing figure Andy Ngo. He announced he was removing himself from the band he co-founded with Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane in a Medium blog post on Thursday. “The only way forward for me is to leave the band,” he wrote in the post titled “Why I’m Leaving Mumford & Sons.” “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. I have no doubt that their stars will shine long into the future.”
Back in March, Marshall tweeted his support for Ngo’s book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy, complimenting Ngo directly. “Finally had the time to read your important book,” he wrote. “You’re a brave man.” He apologized after backlash from fans and announced he would take time from the band “to examine my blind spots.” Well, the results of the examination are in, and he’s found no faults. “I have spent much time reflecting, reading, and listening,” he added. “The truth is that 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,” he continued in his blog post. “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.” Yes, he’d rather quit the band than the false equivalences. Mumford and his remaining sons confirmed the news with a photo on Instagram.