The co-founder of Mumford & Sons has revealed that thirteen members of his family were murdered in the Holocaust as he announced his decision to leave the band.
Lead guitarist Winston Marshall took a break from the band earlier this year after being ‘mobbed’ on social media for tweeting in support of a book by right-wing journalist Andy Ngo.
The controversial book claims far-left activists aim to “destroy democracy”.
In a blog post, Marshall hit back at critics who had labelled him “fascist”, saying: “Thirteen members of my family were murdered in the concentration camps of the Holocaust.
“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.”
The banjo player added that he regretted the “distress” caused to fellow band members as a result of the row, saying a “viral mob” had attacked them for not disowning him.
The musician, who says he holds “centrist” and “liberal” views, now says the time has come for him to leave the band to avoid others members being attacked for his views.
“I could remain and continue to self-censor but it will erode my sense of integrity,” he said, adding that he wished his former bandmates “nothing but the best.”
In a post, the band said: “We wish you all the best for the future, Win, and we love you man.”
Mumford & Sons, who headlined Glastonbury in 2013, are best known for hits such as ‘Little Lion Man, ‘The Cave’ and ‘I Will Wait’.
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