Rafael Behr joins the New Statesman

The current chief leader writer of the Observer will join the New Statesman as chief political commentator

We are delighted to announce that Rafael Behr is joining the New Statesman in June as chief political commentator. He is at present chief leader writer of the Observer and before that was at the Financial Times.

He will join an award-winning politics team, led by Mehdi Hasan, senior editor, politics; George Eaton (The Staggers rolling blog); and Jonathan Derbyshire, culture editor and our in-house political philosopher.

Jason Cowley, editor of the New Statesman, 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."

Rafael 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."

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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