Mumford and Sons Winston Marshall leaves band after praising (very) right-wing author

Winston Marshall, the guitarist cum banjoist with Mumford & Sons, has announced he’s quitting the band following controversy around his support for the book ‘Unmasked‘ which decries the leftist protest movement Antifa among other positions; a book which the LA Times described as “supremely dishonest” and whose main thesis is that the influence of right-wing extremists is “grossly exaggerated by biased media.” In March of this year, Marshall had sent a Tweet to the book’s author, conservative journalist Andy Ngo: “Congratulations. Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.” He initially apologised, stating: “Over the past few days I have come to better understand the pain caused by the book I endorsed,” adding that he would “examine my blindspots”. But before he got to those blindspots, he then went on to say in a fuller blog post last night that:

“I have spent much time reflecting, reading and listening. 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. 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 … 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 … 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.”  

And there you have it, the “horseshoe theory” that the “far-left” are the same as the “far-right” (“Open borders” vs “No immigration full stop” – erm…)  The Mumfords have told Winston “we love you man” – but hey you know, this. Still, ‘Babel’ is a great album and Winston is a great banjo player – proof once again you should never meet your heroes.

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About Mark Whitfield 1822 Articles
Mark Whitfield has been Editor of Americana UK for the last 20 years while also working in public health as his day job, which has been kind of busy recently.


  1. As I understand it, not only was Ngo very right wing but calling him a journalist is a stretch. He posted very edited videos and was thigh deep in league with the neo nazis. I’m not sure it’s a reason for Marshall to resign if he didnt know about Ngo, other people have made far worst mistakes and stayed in their jobs. He looks naive to me.

    • Agreed on Ngo. With Marshall, it sounds like the resignation was his own choice so he could, in his words “speak his own mind” – kind of filled with dread at what that might be if he’s been holding back… Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

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