Guitarist and banjoist Winston Marshall released an agonised, powerful statement this week, explaining that he is quitting the band Mumford & Sons so that he won’t have to ‘self-censor’.

The musician got into trouble in March for tweeting his support for American journalist Andy Ngo’s book Unmasked, which is critical of far-Left violence and rabble-rousing. Within 24 hours of congratulating Ngo for being “a brave man”, Marshall’s tweet was trending, and he was accused of holding far-right sympathies.

He vehemently denied this, calling himself somewhere between a liberal and a centrist, and also pointed out that 13 members of his family were killed in the Holocaust so labelling him a fascist, as some had done, was ludicrous beyond belief.

His decision to stand down was reached so he could “speak his mind without suffering the consequences”. Quoting Churchill, and Aleksander Solzhenitsyn’s essay Live Not By Lies, Marshall stated that it would gnaw his conscience to continue to self-censor.    

Marshall’s father is the hedge-fund millionaire Sir Paul Marshall, who is an investor in the GB News channel, also pilloried ludicrous, by some critics, for being too right-leaning.

The guitarist cited the pressure and abuse his fellow bandmates received in the wake of his initial tweet as one of the primary reasons for his departure. Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane formed the band together with Marshall in 2007.  

Marshall wrote that it had been no easy decision, and detailed fond memories of the band’s tours and success over the years. However, he concluded that leaving was “the only way to move forward”, and he plans to carry on writing and speaking on a variety of issues, “challenging as they may be.” Good for him.