Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall says he is leaving the folk-rock group so he can speak his mind without the other members of the band "suffering the consequences."
The musician announced his departure in a post on Medium, where he spoke about taking time away from the band in March after tweeting about right-wing writer-activist Andy Ngo's book "Unmasked," which sparked a social media firestorm.
At the time, Marshall was accused of endorsing the far right, the Associated Press reported, but on Thursday, he said that "nothing could be further from the truth."
"Thirteen members of my family were murdered in the concentration camps of the Holocaust," Marshall said. "My Grandma, unlike her cousins, aunts, and uncles, survived. She and I were close. My family knows the evils of fascism painfully well. To say the least. To call me “fascist” was ludicrous beyond belief."
Marshall said his bandmates invited him to continue with the band, but in the end, he decided to leave.
"For me to speak about what I’ve [learned] to be such a controversial issue will inevitably bring my bandmates more trouble," Marshall said. "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. Gnaw my conscience. I’ve already felt that beginning."
In a social media post, the other members of the band wished Marshall all the best.
"We wish you all the best for the future, Win, and we love you, man. M, B & T."
Marshall said he plans to focus on new creative projects, "as well as speaking and writing on a variety of issues."