Winston Marshall is ‘taking time away’ from Mumford & Sons after cancel culture row

The banjo player from folk rock group Mumford & Sons announced today he is ‘taking time away from the band’ to ‘examine my blindspots’ after a Twitter pile-on for praising a controversial right-wing writer.

Winston Marshall, the son of Brexit-supporting millionaire Sir Paul Marshall, was attacked on social media after tweeting support for US journalist Andy Ngo over the weekend, calling him a ‘brave man’ and hailing his ‘important’ book Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s Radical Plan To Destroy Democracy.

After a barrage of tweets accusing him of ‘endorsing fascism’, the band held crisis talks on Sunday, after which bandmates Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane, along with their management, reportedly asked Marshall to leave the group.

A source claimed that Marshall’s staunchly right-wing views had been causing ‘tension’ in the band for some time, and that the decision was made to let him go in order to protect the band’s ‘image’ in the traditionally left-leaning world of folk music. 

Early this morning, Marshall, whose investor father is worth £630m, said he was leaving the group after 14 years – leading one critic of cancel culture to write: ‘Never appease the hate mob, you should have stood by your words’.

Winston Marshall was attacked on social media after tweeting support for US journalist Andy Ngo over the weekend. In 2015, Marshall married Glee star Dianna Agron, before the couple divorced in August 2020. They are seen together in New York in 2015

Winston Marshall was attacked on social media after tweeting support for US journalist Andy Ngo over the weekend. In 2015, Marshall married Glee star Dianna Agron, before the couple divorced in August 2020. They are seen together in New York in 2015

Winston Marshall was attacked on social media after tweeting support for US journalist Andy Ngo over the weekend. In 2015, Marshall married Glee star Dianna Agron, before the couple divorced in August 2020. They are seen together in New York in 2015 

Ngo

Ngo

On Saturday, fans hit back at Winston and accused him of 'endorsing fascism' when he praised Ngo's new book Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy in a now-deleted tweet

On Saturday, fans hit back at Winston and accused him of 'endorsing fascism' when he praised Ngo's new book Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy in a now-deleted tweet

Ngo’s (left) book Unmasked claims to expose Antifa – the name for protesters in the US who arrive at far-right marches to oppose them – as a ‘violent extremist movement’. Pictured right: Marshall’s tweet 

Early this morning, Marshall, the son of Brexit-supporting investor Sir Paul Marshall, who is worth £630m, said he was leaving the group after 14 years

Early this morning, Marshall, the son of Brexit-supporting investor Sir Paul Marshall, who is worth £630m, said he was leaving the group after 14 years

Early this morning, Marshall, the son of Brexit-supporting investor Sir Paul Marshall, who is worth £630m, said he was leaving the group after 14 years 

Sir Paul Marshall, Winston Marshall's father, who is worth £680m

Sir Paul Marshall, Winston Marshall's father, who is worth £680m

Sir Paul Marshall, Winston Marshall’s father, who is worth £680m 

Marshall, 33, said in a statement posted on Twitter: ‘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. 

Winston Marshall: Founding band member and son of Brexit-supporting investor worth £630m 

Marshall, 33, was born in Wandsworth, south-west London, and attended £25,000-per-year St Paul’s school – was a founding member of Mumford & Sons. 

His father is the investor Sir Paul Marshall, who is worth £630m, and donated £100,000 to the Leave campaign in the run up to the Brexit referendum. 

In 2015, he married Glee star Dianna Agron, before the couple divorced in August 2020. 

The notoriously private couple tied the knot at the Beldi Country Club in Morocco in 2016, following a whirlwind romance and lived in New York.

The couple were first rumoured to be dating back in 2015 when Dianna was pictured holding hands with Marshall when she joined his band on tour in Paris.

Before marrying Marshall, Agron had dated fellow actors Alex Pettyfer, Sebastian Stan and Thomas Cocquerel.

Marshall is rumoured to have dated Katy Perry just before she got together with Orlando Bloom.   

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‘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.’

Mumford & Sons last irritated left-wing supporters in 2019 after posing for a photo alongside Canadian professor and YouTube personality Jordan Peterson, a well-known critic of cancel culture who has also made controversial comments about Islam and immigration. 

Mumford – who is married to actress Carey Mulligan, 35 – later said the post was not an endorsement of the academic’s views, and argued in favour of free speech.

‘We love the opportunity to disagree and I think that’s something that’s at risk of being quashed to too much of an extent,’ he said.

Today, a source told The Sun that Marshall’s right-wing politics had been causing ‘tension’ in the band for some time.

‘There has been a rift forming for the past four years with some people even going as far to say he has been ”radicalised”,’ the source said.

‘Marcus would always be an advocate for his right to free speech and for him to believe what he wants.

‘But his tweet on Sunday was the final straw and they said they couldn’t put up with it any longer because it massively impacts the band’s image.’

Ngo’s book Unmasked claims to expose Antifa – the name for protesters in the US who arrive at far-right marches to oppose them – as 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’.

In his tweet, Marshall wrote to Ngo: ‘Finally had the time to read your important book. You’re a brave man’.

The book recounts how Ngo was attacked and ‘milkshaked’ by militant anti-fascist protesters in 2019 – along with the history and tactics of the Antifa movement. 

The band in 2019. Pictured from left to right:  Winston Marshall, Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett

The band in 2019. Pictured from left to right:  Winston Marshall, Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett

The band in 2019. Pictured from left to right:  Winston Marshall, Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford and Ben Lovett

Fans took to Twitter to slam Marshall's tweet about Ngo's book - which was later deleted

Fans took to Twitter to slam Marshall's tweet about Ngo's book - which was later deleted

Fans took to Twitter to slam Marshall’s tweet about Ngo’s book – which was later deleted 

But there was also anger at Marshall leaving the ban, with one commentator saying, 'Never try to appease the hate mob'

But there was also anger at Marshall leaving the ban, with one commentator saying, 'Never try to appease the hate mob'

But there was also anger at Marshall leaving the ban, with one commentator saying, ‘Never try to appease the hate mob’ 

Footage at the time showed Ngo being punched, kicked and covered in milkshake by members of the ‘Antifa’ movement.

Ngo was seen attempting to get away from the crowd, some of whom follow him and throw milkshakes and other objects at his head.

At least three demonstrators from Antifa, the collective term for a militant far-left protest movement, who oppose the far-right, were arrested.

The writer tweeted afterwards that he was bleeding and had been robbed of his camera equipment and was heading to the hospital for treatment.

He said: ‘Attacked by antifa. Bleeding. They stole my camera equipment. No police until after. waiting for ambulance . If you have evidence of attack please help.’ 

Mumford is married to Carey Mulligan. They are seen together in London last year wearing a charity t-shirt to raise money for Comic Relief

Mumford is married to Carey Mulligan. They are seen together in London last year wearing a charity t-shirt to raise money for Comic Relief

Mumford is married to Carey Mulligan. They are seen together in London last year wearing a charity t-shirt to raise money for Comic Relief 

Andy Ngo: Right-wing ‘provocateur’ whose book described Antifa as a ‘violent extremist movement’ 

Andy Ngo, 35, is a conservative American journalist from Portland, Oregon, who has sparked controversy for his reporting on street clashes between left and right-wing protesters in the US. 

Ngo is editor-at-large of news site The Post Millennial and regularly appears on Fox News. He has also written columns for several publications including The Spectator and the Wall Street Journal. 

Ngo came to national attention in 2019, when he was attacked by far-left antifa protesters at a march by the right-wing extremist group the Proud Boys in Portland, Oregon. 

His book, Unmasked: Inside Antifa’s radical plan to destroy democracy, claims to expose Antifa – the name for protesters in the US who arrive at far-right marches to oppose them – as a ‘violent extremist movement’.

It claimed his attack was just one example of ‘a long list of crimes perpetrated by antifa’ and ‘tells the story of this violent extremist movement from the very beginning’. 

He includes interviews with former Antifa members and people who have been attacked by the group to suggest it wants to ‘destroy the nation-state, America in particular’.

Ngo calls the book ‘a letter of gratitude to the nation that welcomed’ his parents when they emigrated from war-torn Vietnam, and claims Antifa consists of ‘violent leftists’ who want to undermine American democracy.   

One of the ways it does this – Ngo – claims, is to attack ‘responsible’ journalists like him who are reporting on them activities in an attempt to scare them into submission.  

The book has been criticised by some media outlets as inaccurate. 

In the same year it was published, a video surfaced online of Ngo laughing and smiling alongside members of Patriot Prayer, another far-right group, who later attacked antifa members gathered at a nearby bar. 

At the time, Portland Mercury journalist Alex Zielinski reported that ‘there’s no way [Ngo] couldn’t know the group was planning on instigating violence’ – but Ngo denied this claim.  

Ngo is well known for videoing clashes between left and right wing protesters and posting them online – often with a lively commentary that has attracted criticism in some quarters. 

 

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Adding: ‘On way to hospital. Was beat on face and head multiple times in downtown in middle of street with fists and weapons. Suspects at large.’

Ngo has in the past associated himself with US group Proud Boys, who are self-described ‘western chauvinists’ and identified as a ‘hate group’ by anti-extremist organisation the Southern Poverty Law Centre.

Mumford fans quickly criticised Marshall for his tweet – with one writing: ‘Certainly left a nasty taste in my mouth. I’ll be listening to anybody but M&S from now on.

Another wrote: ‘This is so damn disappointing and really reinforces all the bad stereotypes about what it means when you hear ‘the sound of banjos.’ Supporting fascism ain’t a good look.’

But today his departure from the band was met with anger from defenders of free speech.

Australian journalist Rita Panahi wrote: ‘Never try to appease the hate mob. You should’ve stood by your words which were perfectly reasonable & considered.’

And another Twitter user said: ‘This is sad. I followed you knowing that you were brave enough to say how you feel.

‘How is a book that’s reporting on something we can all see- be hurting anyone? Sorry you couldn’t educate those who pressured you, but instead caved.’

Marshall was born in Wandsworth, south-west London, and attended £25,000-per-year St Paul’s school – was a founding member of Mumford & Sons. 

In 2015, he married Glee star Dianna Agron, before the couple divorced in August 2020. 

The notoriously private couple tied the knot at the Beldi Country Club in Morocco in 2016, following a whirlwind romance and lived in New York.

The couple were first rumoured to be dating back in 2015 when Dianna was pictured holding hands with Marshall when she joined his band on tour in Paris.

Before marrying Marshall, Agron had dated fellow actors Alex Pettyfer, Sebastian Stan and Thomas Cocquerel.

Marshall is rumoured to have dated Katy Perry just before she got together with Orlando Bloom.

MailOnline has contacted representatives for the band and Winston Marshall for comment. 

Ngo's book recounts how he was attacked and 'milkshaked' by militant anti-fascist protesters in 2019 - along with the history and tactics of the Antifa movement

Ngo's book recounts how he was attacked and 'milkshaked' by militant anti-fascist protesters in 2019 - along with the history and tactics of the Antifa movement

Ngo’s book recounts how he was attacked and ‘milkshaked’ by militant anti-fascist protesters in 2019 – along with the history and tactics of the Antifa movement

Battered

Battered

Bruised

Bruised

Ngo, who describes himself in his Twitter bio as ‘hated by Antifa’, is seen attempting to get away from the crowd

The march in Oregon where Ngo was attacked. He was covering protesters from the far-right Proud Boys group

The march in Oregon where Ngo was attacked. He was covering protesters from the far-right Proud Boys group

The march in Oregon where Ngo was attacked. He was covering protesters from the far-right Proud Boys group 

Link hienalouca.com

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