Born In: Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire, England
Nick Clegg is a former British politician and a media executive, best known as former deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Born and raised in the UK, Nick completed his schooling from the Westminster School and later enrolled into the Cambridge University, from where he attained degrees in archaeology and anthropology. He later attended the University of Minnesota and the College of Europe, Bruges. He worked briefly as a journalist in the 1990s and became interested in joining politics after working as a secretary of a Conservative Party’s politician. He later joined the Liberal Democratic Party and was elected to the European Parliament from the East Midlands. He was later elected as Member of the British Parliament from Sheffield Hallam. In 2007, he was made the party leader and formed a coalition government with the Conservative Party in the 2010 elections. He was appointed as the Deputy Prime Minister and worked with Prime Minister David Cameron despite a difference in both parties’ ideologies. Due to many of the policies that he approved, he lost his credibility amidst the followers of the party and ended up losing a massive chunk of votes in the 2015 elections, thus resigning from his position as the party leader and deputy PM.
Also Known As: Sir Nicholas William Peter Clegg
Spouse/Ex-: Miriam González Durántez
father: Nicholas Peter Clegg
mother: Hermance van den Wall Bake
siblings: Paul Clegg
children: Alberto Clegg, Antonio Clegg, Miguel Clegg
education: Robinson College, Cambridge (BA), University of Minnesota (MA), College of Europe (MA), Westminster School
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Nick Clegg was born Nicholas William Peter Clegg, on January 7, 1967, in Buckinghamshire, England, to Nicholas Peter Clegg and Hermance van den Wall �Bake, into an upper class household. His father worked as the chairman of United Trust Bank, one of the biggest banks in Britain. His mother was a housewife. Nick was born as third among four children in the family and was raised in Buckinghamshire.
He hails from a well-known family and belongs to Russian and German ancestry as well. His mother was Dutch, who had faced imprisonment with her family by the Japanese armed forces during the Second World War. His paternal grandfather was an esteemed British doctor, who was known as the editor of the British Medical Journal for more than three decades.
He enrolled into Caldicott School located in South Buckinghamshire and later attended Westminster School. When he was 16 years old, he was sent to study in Munich under a student exchange program. He was an excellent student and became well versed in many European languages such as English, French, Dutch, German and Spanish.
He spoke extensively about his childhood and said that his family had struggled enough through the years and the political environment in his house ensured that he grew up with a very liberal mindset.
Following his high school graduation, he took a year off from academics and moved to Austria, to work as a skiing instructor. In 1986, he enrolled into Cambridge University and studied anthropology and archaeology. He had always been active in the extra-curricular activities while in college and was a part of the college drama group.
He was also active in sports and played on the Robinson College tennis team. There have also been records to prove that he joined the Cambridge University Conservative Association while in college, but he denied it.
On a scholarship, he got enrolled into the University of Minnesota, and during his summer internship, he worked in a liberal magazine as an intern. Following his graduation, he further studied at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
Before embarking into full time politics, Nick worked as a journalist in the early 1990s. In 1993, he was honoured with Financial Times’ David Thomas Prize and was later sent to Hungary, where he covered the mass privatization of industries in the area, which was known as the communist bloc.
In April 1994, he was hired by the European Commission where he worked at the Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent State. It was a program started by the European Union to bring the economy of formerly soviet countries on track by setting up free market economic system.
Nick kept working at the high profile positions for the next two years as well. He was eventually hired by the Vice President of the European Commissioer for Trade �Leon Brittan as a policy advisor and a speech writer. His accession to politics began in the late 1990s.
He was serving as an advisor to Sir Leon Britton, who was also a cabinet minister in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative Party. Sir Leon tried to convince Nick to join his party and contest as a Conservative Member of Parliament. But Nick believed that the Liberal Democrats reflected his thoughts much more accurately and he contested from the East Midlands constituency in 1999 from the Liberal Democratic Party.
He was the first liberal candidate since 1931 to represent East Midlands in the European Parliament. He performed duties as a liberal democrat and worked towards strengthening his party’s position in the European Parliament, also persuading Conservative Party’s Bill Newton Dunn to join the Liberal Democrats.
He had a successful and popular run as the MEP, as he heavily insisted on bringing more accountability into the European parliament.
In 2004, he decided to leave the European Parliament to contest in the British General election of 2005. He contested from Hallam, Sheffield and won with 50% of the votes, thus taking the seat. As a Member of Parliament from Hallam, he was also appointed to the position of secretary and the treasurer of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on National Parks.
He was being seen as a future Liberal Democratic Party leader due to his strong ability to represent liberal values in an articulate and practical way. Party’s leader Charles Kennedy resigned from his position in 2006 and Nick was one of the frontrunners who were being considered for the leadership position. However, Nick declined the offer and instead supported the candidacy of Menzies Campbell, who eventually became the leader.
For the next couple of years, Nick established himself as a strong critic of the ruling Labour Party’s ways of curbing civil liberties. Many top leaders from the Liberal Democratic Party still saw him as a potential leader. Meanwhile Menzies leadership was being questioned within the party, mostly due to his old age, which led him to resign from his position as the party leader.
In 2007, after Menzies resigned, Nick came ahead again as one of the contenders for the party leadership and he decided to contest this time. Over 41,000 party members voted and Nick emerged victorious with a very small margin of 511 votes.
One of the first things Nick did after taking office was bringing a change in the decision making policies within the party. The previous leaders had repeatedly raised concerns that they had to consult and seek approval from a large number of party members, more than any other British political party.
The Liberal Democratic Party was also facing relevance issues in the British politics as only the third big party. He also had the burden of performing well in the 2010 general elections. During the election campaigns, he gained an immense popularity owing to his oratory skills exhibited during the first ever televised all party leaders’ debate.
However, the final result of the election did not reflect this surge in popularity of the Liberal Democrats and the party ended up gaining only 57 seats, which was even lesser than 2005 elections. However, the Conservative Party also had failed to gain a full majority and a coalition government was formed with David Cameron as the Prime Minister and Nick being the Deputy Prime Minister.
Despite a clear difference in ideologies, David and Nick found ways to work together, and Nick agreed on approving some policies which proved to be unpopular with his party’s voters’ base. Increase in tuition fee was one of the policies that turned voters against the party and Nick’s popularity decreased. This mistrust reflected during the 2015 election, where the Liberal Democratic Party ended with only 8 votes.
This led Nick to resign from his position as the party leader, and the Deputy Prime Minister. His downfall further continued and in the 2017 elections, he further lost his MP seat from Hallam.
*In 2018, he began working as the head of global policy and communications, in Facebook.
In 2017, he was awarded a knighthood.
Nick Clegg married Spanish lawyer Miriam Durantez in 2000 and the couple has three sons together.
Since Nick moved to work with Facebook, he currently lives in Atherton, California.
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