Lionel Barber is the editor of the Financial Times. Since his appointment in 2005, Barber has helped to transform the FT from a newspaper publisher into a multi-channel global news organisation. During his editorship, the FT has won many international awards for its journalism.
Barber has co-written several books and has lectured widely on foreign policy, transatlantic relations and economics. As the editor, he has interviewed many of the world’s leaders in business and politics, including US President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President of Iran Hassan Rouhani.
Barber began his career in journalism in 1978 as a reporter for The Scotsman. He then moved to The Sunday Times as a business correspondent and joined the FT in 1985 as a business reporter.
A pro-EU journalist and one of the most influential figures in business journalism, Lionel Barber came under a lot of fire after he had lunch with Jean Claude Junker in Junker’s Brussels residence.
Barber had allegedly provided Junker with either an assessment of the proposed estimate of the ‘exit bill’ for the UK or suggested the figure himself. The figure was earlier reported to be, and to which Britain agreed was £39 Billion, but after Junker’s meeting with Lionel, he demanded a sum of £52 Billion.
FT rubbished the allegations and provided a transcript saying that it was Junker who brought up the £52 Billion figure.
Lionel Barber has been awarded France’s highest civilian honour for playing a constructive role in the EU politics through his work.