Observer's Rafael Behr joins New Statesman

The Observer's chief leader writer Rafael Behr is joining the New Statesman as chief political commentator.

Behr, a former business correspondent for the BBC and the Financial Times, joined The Observer in 2003 as editor of observer.co.uk.

At the New Statesman he joins a politics team that includes senior politics editor Mehdi Hasan, George Eaton (The Staggers rolling blog) and culture editor Jonathan Derbyshire.

New Statesman editor Jason Cowley said: 'This is an exciting period of expansion and development for both the New Statesman magazine and newstatesman.com.

'Rafael, who is a first rate writer and journalist, will further strengthen the team. He will write a weekly Westminster column as well as essays and reports for the magazine, and contribute to The Staggers blog.'

Behr said: 'The Statesman is a great magazine, occupying a unique place in Britain's political and intellectual landscape. It is produced by an immensely talented team of journalists and I feel privileged to be joining them."

Behr will make the switch to the New Statesman in June.

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