|Birth Day:||January 7, 1967|
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He graduated from the University of Minnesota and Cambridge, where he was active in the school's theater scene.
Clegg was educated at two independent schools: at Caldicott School in Farnham Royal in South Buckinghamshire, where he was joint Head Prefect in 1980, and later at Westminster School in Central London. As a 16-year-old exchange student in Munich, he and a friend drunkenly set fire to what he called "the leading collection of cacti in Germany". When news of the incident was reported during his time as Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Clegg said he was "not proud" of it. He was arrested and not formally charged, but performed a kind of community service.
He spent a gap year working as a skiing instructor in Austria, before going on to Cambridge in 1986, where he studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Robinson College. He was active in the student theatre at Cambridge, acting in a production of The Normal Heart under director Sam Mendes. He was also captain of his college's tennis team, and campaigned for the human rights organisation Survival International. Clegg spent the summer of 1989 as an office junior in Postipankki bank in Helsinki.
Between 1992 and 1993, he was employed by GJW Government Relations Ltd, which lobbied on behalf of Libya.
In 1993, Clegg won the inaugural Financial Times' David Thomas Prize, in remembrance of an FT journalist killed on assignment in Kuwait in 1991. He was later sent to Hungary, where he wrote articles about the mass privatisation of industries in the former communist bloc.
He took up a post at the European Commission in April 1994, working in the TACIS aid programme to the former Soviet Union. For two years, Clegg was responsible for developing direct aid programmes in Central Asia and the Caucasus worth €50 million. He was involved in negotiations with Russia on airline overflight rights, and launched a conference in Tashkent in 1993 that founded TRACECA—an international transport programme for the development of a transport corridor for Europe, the Caucasus and Asia. Vice-President and Trade Commissioner Leon Brittan then offered him a job in his private office, as a European Union policy adviser and speechwriter. As part of this role, Clegg was in charge of the EC negotiating team on Chinese and Russian accession talks to the World Trade Organization.
In 1998, Clegg was selected as the lead Liberal Democrat candidate for the European Parliament in the East Midlands constituency; the following year, Paddy Ashdown was first to tip him as a politician to watch. On his election in 1999, he was the first Liberal parliamentarian elected in the East Midlands since Ernest Pickering was elected MP for Leicester West in 1931, and was credited with helping to significantly boost the Liberal Democrat poll rating in the region in the six months after his election. Clegg worked extensively during his time as an MEP to support the party in the region, not least in Chesterfield where Paul Holmes was elected as MP in 2001. Clegg helped persuade Conservative MEP Bill Newton Dunn to defect to the Liberal Democrats, with Newton Dunn subsequently succeeding him as MEP for the East Midlands.
As an MEP, Clegg co-founded the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform, which led calls for reforms to expenses, transparency and accountability in the European Parliament. He was made Trade and Industry spokesman for the European Liberal Democrat and Reform group (ELDR). In December 2000, Nick Clegg became the Parliament's Draftsman on a complex new EU telecoms law relating to "local loop unbundling"—opening-up telephone networks across Europe to competition. Clegg decided to leave Brussels in 2002, arguing in an article in The Guardian newspaper that the battle to persuade the public of the benefits of Europe was being fought at home, not in Brussels.
In London, elections were held to the London Assembly and Mayoralty. The Liberal Democrats again selected Brian Paddick as their Mayoral candidate. He polled just 4% of the vote (down from 10% in 2008), and finished fourth behind the Green Party. In the Assembly, the Liberal Democrats also finished behind the Greens across London, and failed to win any of the individual constituency seats. They polled 7% of the vote on the London-wide list (which elects "top-up" candidates to the assembly under a form of proportional representation), which represented a decline of 5% on the previous contest. This meant that the party lost one seat, and was reduced to just two assembly seats, their smallest representation since the formation of the assembly in 2000.
In September 2000, Clegg married Miriam González Durántez, from Valladolid, Spain. They have three sons. While Clegg has stated that he does not believe in God, his wife is a Roman Catholic and they are bringing up their children as Catholics. On 16 September 2010, during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the United Kingdom, Clegg attended the State reception in the grounds of Holyrood Palace and was introduced to the Pope by Her Majesty the Queen. Clegg identifies as a feminist.
Clegg has written extensively, publishing and contributing to a large number of pamphlets and books. With Dr Richard Grayson he wrote a book in 2002 about the importance of devolution in secondary education systems, based on comparative research across Europe. The final conclusions included the idea of pupil premiums so that children from poorer backgrounds receive the additional resources their educational needs require.
Clegg, for four years whilst an MEP, wrote a fortnightly column for Guardian Unlimited. One particular article in 2002 accused Gordon Brown of encouraging "condescension" towards Germany. In an article, Clegg wrote that "all nations have a cross to bear, and none more so than Germany with its memories of Nazism. But the British cross is more insidious still. A misplaced sense of superiority, sustained by delusions of grandeur and a tenacious obsession with the last war, is much harder to shake off". The article was dusted down during the 2010 general election campaign when the Daily Mail interpreted the article as being a "Nazi slur on Britain" and Clegg had begun to feel the full heat of the British tabloid press following his success during the first leaders' debate.
In 2004, Clegg explained to the Select Committee on European Union that the aim of MEPs like himself, who had been active in the debate on the EU's negotiating mandate, was to obtain the right to ratify any major WTO deal entered into by the European Union. That same year he chaired a policy working group for the Liberal Democrats on the Third Age, which focused on the importance of ending the cliff-edge of retirement and providing greater opportunities for older people to remain active beyond retirement. The group developed initial proposals on transforming post offices to help them survive as community hubs, in particular for older people. He served on Charles Kennedy's policy review, "Meeting the Challenge", and the "It's About Freedom" working parties.
On leaving the European Parliament, Clegg joined political lobbying firm GPlus in April 2004 as a fifth partner:
In November 2004, Richard Allan, the then Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam, announced his intention to stand down from the House of Commons. Clegg was selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate. He took up a part-time teaching position in the politics department of the University of Sheffield, combining it with ongoing EU consultancy work with GPlus. He also gave a series of seminar lectures in the international relations Department of the University of Cambridge.
Clegg worked closely with Allan throughout the campaign in Sheffield Hallam—including starring in a local pantomime—and won the seat in the 2005 general election with over 50% of the vote, and a majority of 8,682. This result represents one of the smallest swings away from a party in a seat where an existing MP has been succeeded by a newcomer (4.3%). He also served as treasurer and secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on National Parks, a particular interest given that his constituency includes part of the Peak District National Park.
Following his election to parliament, Clegg was promoted by leader Charles Kennedy to be the party's spokesperson on Europe, focusing on the party's preparations for an expected referendum on the European constitution and acting as deputy to Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Menzies Campbell. Clegg's ability to articulate liberal values at a very practical level quickly lent him prominence, with many already seeing him as a future Liberal Democrat leader. Following the resignation of Kennedy on 7 January 2006, Clegg was touted as a possible leadership contender. He was quick to rule himself out however instead declaring his support for Menzies Campbell ahead of his former colleague in the European Parliament Chris Huhne, with Campbell going on to win the ballot. Clegg had been a signatory to the letter circulated by Vince Cable prior to Kennedy's resignation, which stated his opposition to working under Kennedy's continued leadership.
After the 2006 leadership election, Clegg was promoted to be Home Affairs spokesperson, replacing Mark Oaten. In this job he spearheaded the Liberal Democrats' defence of civil liberties, proposing a Freedom Bill to repeal what he described as "unnecessary and illiberal legislation", campaigning against Identity Cards and the retention of innocent people's DNA, and arguing against excessive counter-terrorism legislation. He has campaigned for prison reform, a liberal approach to immigration, and defended the Human Rights Act against ongoing attacks from across the political spectrum. In January 2007, Clegg launched the 'We Can Cut Crime!' campaign, "proposing real action at a national level and acting to cut crime where the Liberal Democrats are in power locally".
After Campbell's resignation, Clegg was regarded by much of the media as front-runner in the leadership election. The BBC's Political Editor Nick Robinson stated the election would be a two-horse race between Clegg and Chris Huhne who had stood against Campbell in the 2006 election. On Friday 19 October 2007, Clegg launched his bid to become leader of the Liberal Democrats. Clegg and Huhne clashed in the campaign over Trident but were largely in agreement on many other issues. It was announced on 18 December that he had won. Clegg was appointed to the Privy Council (PC) on 30 January 2008, and affirmed his membership on 12 March 2008.
Clegg caused a degree of controversy when, at the Liberal Democrat party conference in 2007, he admitted his leadership ambitions to journalists at a fringe event. The admission followed a period of increased media speculation about Sir Menzies Campbell's leadership, which the admission by Clegg did nothing to reduce and resulted in a rebuke by some of his frontbench colleagues. This followed a report from Kevin Maguire in the New Statesman that Clegg had failed to hide his disloyalty to Campbell's leadership. Campbell eventually resigned on 15 October 2007, saying that questions about his leadership were "getting in the way of further progress by the party".
In March 2008, GQ magazine ran with an interview conducted by Piers Morgan in which Clegg admitted to sleeping with "no more than 30" women. Senior Lib Dem MPs defended his comments; Lembit Öpik said it showed "you can be a human being and a party Leader", and Norman Lamb that "Nick tries to be absolutely straight in everything that he does, and that might sometimes get him into trouble but he will build a reputation for being honest and straightforward." Speaking to the BBC about the interview Clegg said "wisdom with hindsight is an easy thing" as what had been a split second response had been "taken out of context, interpreted, over interpreted and so on".
Upon his election Clegg appointed leadership rival Huhne as his replacement as Home Affairs spokesperson and following his strong performances as acting party leader, Vince Cable was retained as the main Treasury spokesperson. Media commentators noted that the Clegg-Huhne-Cable triumvirate provided the Liberal Democrats with an effective political team for the coming years. On 5 March 2008, Clegg suffered a real test following the resignation of three of his front bench team. David Heath, Alistair Carmichael and Tim Farron had been told to abstain in the vote for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty but had wanted to vote in favour and so defied the whip. In addition to the three frontbenchers, a further 12 more backbench LibDem MPs also defied the whip and voted "yes". Clegg said "though we have disagreed on this issue I fully understand and respect their strongly held views on the subject.... However, as they have recognised, the shadow cabinet cannot operate effectively unless the principle of collective responsibility is maintained."
The resignations happened not long after Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons, had on 26 February 2008 blocked calls by the Liberal Democrats for an "in or out" referendum on Britain's EU membership. The Speaker's authority was called into question when, led by Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrats marched out of the House of Commons, calling the Speaker's decision a constitutional "outrage". Just moments earlier, frontbench foreign affairs spokesman for the party Ed Davey had been expelled from the chamber by the Speaker's deputy, Sir Michael Lord, for further challenging the ruling.
In November 2008, Clegg suffered more allegations of difficulties with the front bench following an article in the Daily Mirror that reported that Clegg had criticised senior members of his front bench whilst on a plane journey. He told the BBC's Politics Show that "a lot of it is, frankly, fiction".
The local election results for the Liberal Democrats during the same period were mixed. In the 2008 local elections the Liberal Democrats took second place with 25% of the vote making a net gain of 34 councillors and took control of Sheffield City Council, but their share of the vote was down 1%. The next year the Liberal Democrats gained Bristol but lost both Somerset and Devon producing a net loss of councils and a net loss of one councillor. The party however did increase its share of the vote by 3% to 28% beating the Labour Party into third place. In the European Parliament elections held on the same day, the Liberal Democrats gained a seat but had a slight decrease in their share of the vote, staying in 4th place compared to the previous European elections, behind the two main parties and UKIP.
In the 2008 London Assembly elections the Liberal Democrats were the only one of the three main parties to see a decrease in their share of the vote, and in the mayoral election the Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick came third again with a decreased share of the vote.
On 29 April 2009 the Liberal Democrats proposed in the House of Commons to offer all Gurkhas an equal right of residence; the motion resulted in a defeat for the Government by 267 votes to 246. It was the only first day motion defeat for a government since 1978. On speaking about the result Clegg said "this is an immense victory [...] for the rights of Gurkhas who have been waiting so long for justice, a victory for Parliament, a victory for decency". He added that it was "the kind of thing people want this country to do".
On 21 May 2009, the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that all Gurkha veterans who retired before 1997 with at least four years' service could settle in the UK. The actress and daughter of Gurkha corps Major James Lumley, Joanna Lumley, who had highlighted the treatment of the Gurkhas and campaigned for their rights, commented: "This is the welcome we have always longed to give".
After Clegg became leader, the polls were mixed; the Liberal Democrats occasionally polled above 20 points, averaging around 19%. In May 2009, the party overtook Labour in an opinion poll (25%–22%) for the first time since the days of its predecessor, the SDP–Liberal Alliance, in 1987. Clegg thus became the first Liberal Democrat leader to out-poll Labour in an opinion poll. After Clegg's performance in the first of three general election debates on 15 April 2010, there was an unprecedented surge of media attention and support for the Liberal Democrats in opinion polls. ComRes reported the Liberal Democrats at 24% on the day, and on 20 April in a YouGov poll, the Liberal Democrats were on 34%, one point above the Conservatives, with Labour in third place on 28%. This success was described as "Cleggmania" by journalists.
In an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live on the morning after his election to the leadership, Clegg stated that he does not believe in God, but that he has "an immense amount of respect for people of faith". In 2010, Clegg elaborated on this question, stating: "I was asked a question once in one of those questions where you're only allowed to answer 'yes' or 'no', and I was asked 'Do you believe in God?' As it happens I don't know whether God exists. I'm much more of an agnostic."
Clegg became Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Lord President of the Council on 11 May 2010 through a coalition with the Conservative Party under Prime Minister David Cameron. He was also made Minister for Constitutional and Political Reform, which was a key point for the Liberal Democrats during the creation of the coalition.
Following the announcement, teams of negotiators from both parties formulated what would become the Coalition Agreement which would form the basis of their partnership together. Gordon Brown's resignation on 11 May 2010 meant that Cameron was invited by the Queen to form a government and a coalition with the Liberal Democrats was agreed, with Nick Clegg as the Deputy PM and Lord President of the Council. The initial agreement was published on 12 May 2010. It consisted of a seven-page document, in 11 sections. In the foreword, it stated "These are the issues that needed to be resolved between us in order for us to work together as a strong and stable government". Of the 57 Liberal Democrat MPs, only two (Charles Kennedy and John Leech) refused to support the Conservative Coalition agreement.
On 5 July 2010, Clegg unveiled plans to have fewer MPs and to hold a referendum on the voting system so that the next general election would be contested under the Alternative Vote system. In a statement, he said UK democracy was "fractured", with some votes counting more than others. As part of the statement he also changed initial plans requiring the number of MPs needed to vote to dissolve Parliament from 55% to 66%. The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill was presented to parliament on 22 July 2010 for its first reading which if successful would see the date of the referendum on changing the voting system from the current 'first past the post' system to the Alternative Vote (AV) system set for 5 May 2011.
The bill also introduced plans to reduce the number of MP's in the House of Commons from 650 to 600, something the Labour party attacked as gerrymandering, as to do this there would need to be boundary changes. Clegg told MPs: "Together, these proposals help correct the deep unfairness in the way we hold elections in this country. Under the current set-up, votes count more in some parts of the country than others, and millions feel that their votes don't count at all. Elections are won and lost in a small minority of seats. We have a fractured democracy, where some people's votes count and other people's votes don't count." On 22 July 2010, the question for the referendum on AV was published, asking voters if they wish to "adopt the 'alternative vote' system instead of the current 'first past the post' system" for electing MPs". The question required a yes or no answer. The Act received Royal Assent on 16 February 2011. The result of the referendum was that the alternative vote proposal was defeated by a margin of 2:1.
Clegg also confirmed that the government planned to introduce legislation for five-year fixed-term parliaments, with elections to be held on the first Thursday in May of the fifth year after the previous general election, starting with 7 May 2015. The corresponding bill was presented to parliament on 22 July 2010 and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 received Royal Assent on 15 September 2011.
On 21 July 2010, Clegg became the first Liberal Democrat leader to answer for Prime minister's questions. He courted controversy during the exchange when at the despatch box he attacked Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Lord Chancellor Jack Straw for the decision to invade Iraq, saying "perhaps one day you could account for your role in the most disastrous decision of all, which is the illegal invasion of Iraq." Despite having long-held views about the issue, the comment was controversial, as it did not reflect the policy of the government, which was that the legality of the war in Iraq was currently being studied by the Iraq inquiry.
Clegg next stepped in for Prime Minister's Questions on 8 September 2010 following the news that Cameron's father had taken very ill. Standing in for the Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman, Jack Straw challenged Clegg on the allegations of phone hacking against Downing Street's director of communications Andy Coulson. Responding, Clegg claimed that the allegations dating from Coulson's time at the News of the World were a matter for the police to investigate. On 10 November 2010, as Cameron was making a trade visit to China, Clegg deputised for the third time, meeting Harman across the despatch box. On a day that coincided with violent student protests against tuition fees in London, the Labour deputy leader chose the same subject to quiz Clegg, accusing him of a U-turn on pledges made before the election. Responding, Clegg accused Harman of trying to re-position Labour as the party of students when the party had previously campaigned against fees only to end up introducing them.
During an interview on 24 October 2010 with the BBC's Andrew Marr, Clegg said that he "regretted" not being able to keep his pre-election policy to scrap tuition fees but claimed that this was a result of the financial situation the country had found itself in.
On 14 October 2010, Clegg delivered a speech at a school in Chesterfield, at which he announced the government's intention to spend £7 billion on a 'fairness premium' designed to see extra support going to the poorest pupils over the course of the parliament. Clegg claimed that the funds for the scheme would be "additional" to the current education budget and this view was backed up by a Number 10 aide who when interviewed by The Guardian said "the money for this will come from outside the education budget. We're not just rearranging furniture – this is real new money from elsewhere in Whitehall." The package announced would provide 15 hours a week free nursery education for the poorest two-year-olds and a 'pupil premium' which would be given to schools to help those pupils eligible for free school meals worth £2.5 billion a year.
The announcement by Clegg ensured that two elements of the government's Coalition Agreement had been fulfilled, that of the promise to support free nursery care to pre-school children and that of funding a 'significant premium for disadvantaged pupils from outside the schools budget by reductions in spending elsewhere'. For Clegg the announcement was an important one politically coming two days after the publication of the Browne Review into the future of university funding which signalled the reversal of the long cherished Liberal Democrat policy of opposing any increase in tuition fees. The pupil premium announcement was important as it formed one of the four key 'priorities' on which the party had fought the last election. On 20 October 2010, the plans for the 'fairness premium' were introduced by the Treasury as part of the spending review which said that the money would be introduced over the period of the review which "will support the poorest in the early years and at every stage of their education".
Following the formation of the coalition, support for the Liberal Democrats fell. On 8 December 2010, the eve of a House of Commons vote on changes in the funding of higher education, an opinion poll conducted by YouGov recorded voting intention figures of Conservatives 41%, Labour 41%, other parties 11% and Liberal Democrats 8%, the lowest level of support recorded for the Liberal Democrats in any opinion poll since September 1990.
At the 2010 general election, the Liberal Democrats won 23% of the vote, an improvement of 1%, however they only won 57 seats, 5 fewer than in 2005. No political party had an overall majority, resulting in the nation's first hung parliament since February 1974. Talks between Cameron, the Conservative Party leader, and Clegg led to an agreed Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition, enabling the Queen to invite Cameron to form a government.
Since the 2010 general election, Clegg's Liberal Democrats have contested 13 by-elections in Great Britain (as of 2 March 2013). The party scored their first by-election win of Clegg's leadership at Eastleigh in 2013, with Mike Thornton holding the seat for the Liberal Democrats, despite a 19% swing away from the party. Clegg described the result as an election in which Liberal Democrats "overcame the odds with a stunning victory."
Clegg lives in Atherton, California, having previously lived in Parkfields, Putney, south west London. He also has a house in his former constituency close to the Peak District, and often walks with his wife near Stanage Edge, which he describes as "one of the most romantic places in the world". In May 2010 Downing Street announced that Clegg and the Foreign Secretary William Hague would share use of Chevening, which is typically the official country residence of the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom.
When he appeared on Desert Island Discs in October 2010, his choice of discs included Johnny Cash, Prince and Radiohead and his luxury was a "stash of cigarettes". In an interview in April 2011, Clegg stated he dealt with the pressures of political office by reading novels late at night and he "cries regularly to music". He supports Arsenal F.C.
Clegg aimed to modernise the Liberal Democrat Party at the same time as maintaining its traditions of political and philosophical Liberalism. In 2011, he told a party conference that the Liberal Democrats were radical centrist in orientation:
In June 2011, Clegg proposed that more than 46 million people would be handed shares in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group under the "people's bank" plan. The plan proposes that ordinary voters would be able to profit from any increase in the value of their shares once the Treasury has recouped taxpayers' money used for the bail-out – an offer that could eventually be worth up to £1,000 to householders. Clegg said that it was "psychologically immensely important" for people to be given a stake in the banks in the wake of the financial crisis. "Their money has been used to the tune of billions and billions and billions to keep the British banking system on a life-support system," he said. The taxpayer owns 84 per cent of RBS and 43 per cent of Lloyds after the Government spent £65.8 billion buying shares at the height of the financial crisis. The share price of both banks has fallen sharply since the bail-out.
Earlier by-elections in the parliament had proven less successful. They failed to win Oldham East and Saddleworth in January 2011, after they had successfully petitioned to overturn the general election result. They polled 32% of the vote, a small increase on 2010, but lost out to Labour whose vote was up by 10 percentage points. The Liberal Democrats also came second at Leicester South (which they had held between 2004 and 2005) in May 2011 with 23% (down 4% on 2010), and at Manchester Central in November 2012 where they polled 9% (down 17%).
A year following the formation of the Coalition Clegg's Liberal Democrats faced poor results in the local elections. In Scotland the party lost all its mainland constituency seats, holding only the Shetland and Orkney islands. Their constituency vote share also fell from 16% to just 8% In the Welsh elections the party held just one of its 3 constituency seats, that of Welsh leader Kirsty Williams, but gained a regional seat. In the 2011 local elections, the Lib Dems lost over 700 councillors, and slumped from 25% to 17% in the share of the local council vote, also losing control of Sheffield City Council with the LibDems dropping to the lowest number of councillors in more than 20 years.
On 19 September 2012, Clegg apologised, not for breaking his pledge, but for having "made a promise we weren't absolutely sure we could deliver". The apology was parodied in a song.
In August 2012, after reform of the House of Lords was abandoned, Clegg said the Conservatives had defied the Coalition agreement by trying to "pick and choose" which items of Government policy they support. The row marked one of the most serious crises for the Coalition since the 2010 general election. Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, said he was "very disappointed", describing the decision as a "great shame". Clegg said that favoured by the Conservatives to make sure the Coalition is a fair and equal partnership. "My party has held to that [Coalition] contract even when it meant voting for things that we found difficult," he said. "But the Conservative party is not honouring the commitment to Lords reform and, as a result, part of our contract has now been broken." Clegg also revealed the Conservatives rejected his suggestion of a "last ditch" compromise to save both policies. "Clearly I cannot permit a situation where Conservative rebels can pick and choose the parts of the contract they like, while Liberal Democrat MPs are bound to the entire agreement," he said.
In September 2012, Clegg formally announced that he was "regrettably" withdrawing proposals to reform the Lords in the face of overwhelming opposition from Conservative MPs. He signalled he would exact his revenge by refusing to sack any Liberal Democrat minister who voted against changes to MPs' boundaries – which is Government policy – in retaliation over the Lords reform débâcle. Traditionally party leaders are offered peerages when they leave the House of Commons. When asked by the Member of Parliament for Bolsover Dennis Skinner, from the Labour Party, if he would take a seat in the Lords, he said: "No", adding: "I personally will not take a seat in an unreformed House of Lords. It just sticks in the throat."
Local elections were held in May 2012 to 185 local authorities in Great Britain, including all 32 councils in Scotland and 21 out of 22 in Wales.
As part of the Coalition Agreement, directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners were introduced to replace Police Authorities. Elections to the new posts took place in November 2012. Liberal Democrats contested 24 of the 41 police force areas, and failed to win any of the contests (and in fact never progressed to the second round of the two-stage count in any of the elections they fought). Their best performance was in Cumbria, where they polled 22%, while their worst was Surrey where the took just 6% of the vote.
A party political broadcast in which Clegg apologised for the Liberal Democrats breaking the promise over tuition fees was remixed into a song, "Nick Clegg Says I'm Sorry" by The Poke and Alex Ross, and sold on iTunes as a charity single. The song charted on 23 September 2012 at number 143 in the Official UK Singles Charts before climbing to 104 the following week. In his 2010 production Dandelion Mind, comedian Bill Bailey sang "Nick Clegg you don't have to wear that dress tonight, walk the streets for money, you don't have to sell your body to the right" to the tune of "Roxanne".
Since January 2013 Clegg has presented a weekly radio show on LBC called Call Clegg. Initially broadcast in the London area, the programme went national along with LBC in February 2014. The programme was nominated for two Radio Academy Awards in 2014. Since April 2018, Clegg has fronted a podcast called Anger Management with Nick Clegg, in which he interviews known persons about the politics of anger. Since the first episode, it has been featured in The Guardian under Podcast of the Week.
Clegg retained his Sheffield Hallam seat in the 2015 election, despite a strong campaign from Labour with a 17% swing in the vote. Clegg campaigned for Remain in the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, as did all other Liberal Democrat MPs, and became the Lib Dem spokesperson for Exiting the European Union and International Trade.
In the 2015 general election, the Liberal Democrats were reduced from 57 seats to 8. Clegg held his Sheffield Hallam seat with a reduced majority. After his party's result, he resigned the party leadership the day after the election.
Clegg was portrayed by Bertie Carvel in the 2015 Channel 4 television film Coalition.
In the 2017 general election, Clegg lost to Labour candidate Jared O'Mara by a margin of 2,125 votes (4.2%).
In October 2017, Clegg wrote How To Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again), which made the case that Brexit was not inevitable.
Clegg was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2018 New Year Honours for political and public service.
In May 2018 he joined David Miliband and Nicky Morgan calling for a soft Brexit. The next month he appeared at a People's Vote march in London to mark the second anniversary of the EU referendum of 2016. People's Vote is a campaign group calling for a public vote on the final Brexit deal between Britain and the EU.
In October 2018 it was announced that Clegg had been hired as a lobbyist and public relations officer in his role as Vice-President, Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook, replacing Elliot Schrage. He joined Facebook because he was "convinced that the culture is changing" and that "lawmakers need to have a serious conversation about whether data-intensive companies allow other companies to share and use data". He admitted that the Cambridge Analytica data scandal had "rocked Facebook to its very foundations" and told the BBC that the company "hadn't done enough in the past" in regards to data privacy.
In July 2019 Clegg said that "aggressive and regressive English nationalism" had taken over the Conservative Party in their competition with Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party established in November 2018. When asked how he expected the next few years to unfold, Clegg told the New Statesman: "the clock is now ticking for the end of the union of the United Kingdom."
In June 2019, Clegg said there was "absolutely no evidence" that Russia had influenced the outcome of the EU referendum using Facebook. He said that the company was working towards greater regulation of technology firms.
Currently, Nick Clegg is 56 years, 2 months and 24 days old. Nick Clegg will celebrate 57th birthday on a Sunday 7th of January 2024.
Find out about Nick Clegg birthday activities in timeline view here.