Happy birthday to Sir Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats 2007-15

Clegg was elected as an MEP for the East Midlands in 1999 and as MP for Sheffield Hallam in 2005. As the Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson he declared in 2007 that he would ‘lead a grassroots campaign of civil disobedience to thwart the identity cards programme’, which was being proposed by the then Labour Government. He successfully contested the 2007 party leadership contest and was elected with 50.6% of the vote, compared to Chris Huhne’s 49.4%. Following the 2010 general election, in which the Liberal Democrats secured 57 seats, he led the party into coalition with the Conservative Party, serving as Deputy Prime Minister, with special responsibilities for Political and Constitutional Reform. With the end of the coalition and the heavy defeat of the Liberal Democrats at the 2015 election, Clegg resigned as party leader and was succeeded by Tim Farron. The referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU brought a return to front line politics but this was cut short by his defeat in the 2017 election. Clegg was knighted in the 2018 New Year’s honours list and in October 2018 was appointed Vice President of Global Affairs and Communications at Facebook.