Winston Marshall, banjoist for Mumford & Sons, has said that he will take a leave of absence from the band due to the backlash he received over a recent social media post praising controversial right-wing agitator Andy Ngo.
In a now-deleted tweet, Marshall posted the cover of Ngo’s book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy and congratulated him, writing “Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man.”
It seems that he’s since backtracked on that statement, with the banjoist making a public apology via Twitter stating that he’ll be taking time away from the band to “examine my blindspots”.
The statement reads: “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.”
It’s not the first time the band have been caught in sympathising with prominent right-wing figures. In 2018, the band were heavily criticised for appearing in a photo op with conservative Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, whose views on feminism, white privilege and gender identity have made him a figurehead of the far-right.