Winston Marshall steps away from Mumford & Sons following criticism over support of writer

Banjo player apologises for the pain he has caused and says he is taking time away from the band to examine his 'blindspots'
Winston Marshall steps away from Mumford & Sons following criticism over support of writer

Winston Marshall, banjo player, is stepping away from Mumford & Sons, saying he is truly sorry for offending a lot of people, including his bandmates 

The banjo player from folk-rock group Mumford & Sons said he is "taking time away from the band" following criticism for praising a conservative writer.

Winston Marshall caused controversy after tweeting support for US journalist Andy Ngo over the weekend.

In a since-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".

Fans of Mumford & Sons, a chart-topping band formed in London in 2007, were quick to share their disappointment at the endorsement.

One described Marshall's tweet as a "dumbfounding endorsement of fascism".

In a statement on Twitter, Marshall, 33, said he is stepping away from the band to "examine my blindspots".

He 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.

Marshall, son of wealthy British investor Sir Paul Marshall, added: "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."

Ngo's book Unmasked 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 Los Angeles Times describes the book as "supremely dishonest".

The remaining members of Mumford & Sons are Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane. Their best-known songs include 'I Will Wait' and 'Little Lion Man'.

Representatives for the band have been contacted for comment.

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