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FT appoints Alex Barker Brussels bureau chief

The Financial Times has named Alex Barker (@alexebarker) as its Brussels bureau chief, replacing Peter Spiegel (@SpiegelPeter) who assumes the role of FT news editor, based in London.

Barker has spent the last five years in Brussels working as the FT’s European diplomatic editor and EU correspondent. Prior to that, he spent four years as a UK political correspondent in Westminster.

FT editor Lionel Barber said: “Alex is a tenacious reporter whose agenda-setting coverage has become a must-read for the FT’s audience. I am delighted that he has accepted the role as Brussels bureau chief, where he will lead the team’s award-winning coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis and Britain’s relationship with the EU.”

Barker started his career in current affairs television. After taking a Masters degree at Columbia University, he joined the FT as a graduate trainee in 2005. His reporting stints have included covering a US presidential campaign and a constitutional crisis in Ankara.

The FT’s coverage of Europe and the eurozone financial crisis, including the series How The Euro Was Saved, has consistently topped the most-read topics on FT.com this decade. In 20122013 and 2015, the FT Brussels team won recognition for its eurozone coverage at the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Last month, Gideon Rachman, the FT’s chief foreign affairs commentator, was named commentator of the year by the European Press Prize, which recognises the highest achievements in European journalism.

In the last year, the FT’s Future of Europe initiative has attracted leaders from European capitals to a series of events, culminating in the April FT Future of Europe Summit, where speakers included Emmanuel Macron, French Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs; Charles Grant, Director at the Centre for European Reform; and Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

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The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 793,000. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving half of total traffic.

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