Facebook hires former British deputy PM Nick Clegg for top communications job

David Harding
Facebook-bound: Nick Clegg (PA)

Former deputy prime minster Nick Clegg has joined Facebook – as its head of global affairs and communications.

The surprise appointment comes as Facebook tries to deal with a global backlash against data protection, and problems over fake news.

Facebook is also facing the threat of increased government regulation  – including from Europe, where Mr Clegg served as a commissioner – and in recent months, several executives have left the company.

Mr Clegg, 51, will move to Silicon Valley in January as part of the move, the Financial Times reported.

Facebook is under threat of increased regulation and privacy challenges (PA)

He will succeed Elliot Schrage, who announced in June that he was leaving Facebook after a decade.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Mr Clegg said: ‘Throughout my public life I have relished grappling with difficult and controversial issues and seeking to communicate them to others.

‘I hope to use some of those skills in my new role.’

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (PA)

He added that Facebook was at the ‘heart of some of the most complex and difficult questions we face as a society’, including privacy, democracy and free speech.

I believe that Facebook must continue to play a role in finding answers to those questions,’ he added.

Mr Clegg served as the UK’s deputy prime minister from 2010 to 2015 in a coalition government between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, the party he headed.

He served as an MP from 2005 until 2017, when he lost his Sheffield Hallam seat to Labour.

Since losing his seat he has appeared on his radio programme and been a vocal opponent of Brexit and even took part in the ‘People’s Vote’ march in London in June of this year.