Sir Nick Clegg, the president of global affairs at Facebook’s parent company Meta, is to return partly to the UK as part of his role with the tech giant, it has been confirmed.

The former deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader will divide his time between Meta’s California headquarters and London – using the UK as a base to travel Europe and Asia because of the global nature of his work, the company said.

The change comes after it was confirmed another Meta executive, Instagram boss Adam Mosseri, would also temporarily relocate to London later this year.

London is a major hub for Meta, with more than 4,000 people employed across its offices in the city.

Social media regulation
Sir Nick Cleggwith Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg in Dublin after a meeting with politicians to discuss regulation of social media and harmful content (Niall Carson/PA)

Sir Nick has become a key executive alongside Facebook founder and Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg, having been promoted from vice-president of global affairs and communications earlier this year, and following the announcement in June that chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg was stepping down.

His move comes as the social media giant continues its shift towards focusing on the metaverse, but also as it faces a number of proposed new regulations in Europe and the UK – a policy area which forms a key part of his job focus.

The UK government is working on sweeping new internet safety laws in the shape of the Online Harms Bill, with similar tough regulations also taking shape in the EU through the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act.

Mr Mosseri’s temporary move to London comes after Instagram paused the planned rollout of new features in the app following an online backlash from users, including high-profile figures such as Kim Kardashian.

The proposed changes included increasing the amount of video content and recommended content shown to users, but these were criticised for crowding out posts, particularly still photos, from friends.

In response to the backlash, Meta said it was “pausing” the testing of the features to “take the time” to get the changes right, with Mr Mosseri saying the platform remained committed to photos.

Some critics suggested the Instagram changes were an effort to take on the growing popularity of TikTok, which is solely based on video sharing.

In a statement on Mr Mosseri’s move, Meta said: “Given the global nature of his role, Adam will be temporarily based out of London later this year.

“London is already Meta’s largest engineering hub outside of the US, with over 4,000 employees across our offices, including a dedicated Instagram product team with people focused on building long-term solutions for creators.”