‘A Liberal by temperament, instinct and upbringing’, Sir Nick Clegg was a leading British politician in the years 2007 to 2015.
As the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Clegg took the party into Government for the first time in their history, and served as Deputy Prime Minister between 2010-2015.
However, following the Liberal Democrats’ crushing losses at the 2015 election, Clegg resigned as Leader before eventually being unseated himself at the subsequent 2017 poll.
Clegg has since reappeared in public consciousness as the President of Global Affairs for Facebook, a position to which he was promoted in February 2022. He originally joined Facebook as the joint global Head of Policy and Communication. Clegg has been charged with trying to improve Facebook’s public image and ward off media criticisms.
In the 2018 New Year’s honours list, Nick Clegg was knighted for political and public service.
What does do at Facebook?
In October 2018, Clegg was appointed Facebook’s joint Head of Policy and Communications. Following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, criticism of the Company in its handling of the on its WhatsApp takeover, and subsequent ‘fake news spreader’ allegations, Facebook was in a tough spot.
As the Head of Policy and Communications, it has been Clegg’s job to improve Facebook’s image and help the company respond to criticism. Clegg was influential in setting up Facebook’s independent oversight board to police content on the platform.
In February 2022, Clegg was promoted to the position of President of Global Affairs for Facebook.
Commenting on Clegg’s promotion, Facebook Founder wrote that Clegg will “lead our company on all our “, including forming policies with international governments and “making the case publicly for our products and our work”. He added that the new role would put Clegg “at the level” of himself and .
As for his salary, Clegg was initially said to be earning $650,000 a year in his previous role as Head of Policy and Communications for Facebook. It has since been reported in the media that Clegg is now earning over £2.8 million per year.
In any event, Clegg’s success in silicon valley has enabled him to purchase a $9 million Californian mansion.
In the lead up to the 2010 , Clegg threatened to break up Britain’s ‘two-party system’ once and for all. During the country’s first ever TV election debate, and battled to cosy up to the then Leader.
Following Clegg’s successful performance in that debate, “I agree with Nick” became the election’s most used phrase
In the hung parliament that resulted, became king-maker. The Parliamentary arithmetic made a Lib-Lab coalition difficult and so Clegg threw his lot in with Cameron’s Conservatives. As part of a new , then became Britain’s .
Clegg’s time in Government was controversial. After signing a pledge prior to the election to not raise student tuition fees, Mr Clegg voted for their tripling in 2010. Disgruntled voters began to lose trust in Clegg and a subsequent ‘apology’ video did little to appease them.
A passionate campaigner for electoral reform, Clegg had his chance with the 2011 ‘Alternative Vote referendum’. However, the ‘alternative vote’ was rejected decisively by 68% of voters. Following this, Clegg told the BBC: the Lib Dems must ‘get up, dust ourselves down and move on’.
The Liberal Democrats were punished at the 2015 and Clegg led the party to almost total electoral wipeout. Having won 57 seats in the 2010 election, the Lib Dems now only had 8.
First elected to the in the 1999 European elections, MEP became the Trade and Industry Spokesman for the Liberal group of MEPs.
In 2005, Clegg was elected to Westminster as the MP for in South Yorkshire. From 2005-2007, Clegg served in a variety of spokesperson roles – most notably with the Home Affairs brief (2006-2007).
Clegg was elected as leader of the Liberal Democrats in 2007, taking the party into government after the 2010 election.
Before losing his seat at the 2017 in a high-profile ‘Portillo’ style moment’, Clegg was the spokesperson for Exiting the European Union (2016-2017).
During his time at Cambridge University, Clegg was said to have been a member of the Cambridge University Conservative Association (CUCA). In some irony, this would have made Clegg the first member of CUCA to have made it to the post of or since the second world war.
How old is ?
Sir Nicholas William Peter Clegg was born on the 7th of January 1967. Clegg was educated at the prestigious Westminster private school in London. He then studied anthropology at Cambridge University (1986-1989), and political philosophy at the University of Minnesota (1989-1990).
– Early Career
Mr Clegg worked as a trainee journalist at the US magazine The Nation and won a national prize for first time writers at the .
He then worked as a Development Aid and Trade expert in the European Union, including managing aid projects in the poorest parts of the former Soviet Union. He was involved in the EU’s negotiations for China and Russia to join the World Trade Organisation.
Clegg is married to international trade lawyer Miriam Gonzalez. The couple have three children.
Nick is an avid lover of the outdoors. He has been said to be an expert skier and keen mountaineer.
Things you may not know about
He speaks 5 languages
Clegg is multilingual. He speaks five European languages, including German, French, Spanish and English, in addition to his mother’s Dutch.
His mother was in a Japanese prisoner of war camp
Clegg’s Dutch mother spent five years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Clegg’s paternal grandmother fled the Russian Revolution.
He attracted the nickname Nick Cleggover
In a 2008 interview with Piers Morgan in GQ magazine, Clegg revealed he had slept with ‘no more than 30’ women. The comment prompted the nickname ‘Cleggover’.