Whitehall investigates Facebook’s Nick Clegg ‘secret briefings’ | Politics | News
They fear the former deputy prime minister – who has just been promoted to chairman of the tech company’s global affairs – could be given sensitive details about possible proposals to bring social media companies to heel. Facebook, along with Instagram and WhatsApp, now falls under the Meta umbrella brand. He strongly denied the allegations.
A report yesterday said the alarm was raised when the former Lib Dem leader, 55, allegedly cited classified information during a Zoom call with government officials in June 2020.
Last week, a newspaper referred to a “tech industry executive who saw the proposals” on the regulations.
Officials are said to be concerned that Sir Nick, whose salary is said to have risen to £15million a year after his promotion, has kept in touch with Whitehall insiders since he was Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government of David Cameron.
The hunt for leaks is expected to extend to the Treasury, the Foreign Office and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
A security source was quoted yesterday as saying: ‘We don’t know if Clegg himself gets this information, or if the company has other sources, but they seem to know what we’re doing almost before we do.
Meta is facing regulation over concerns about the amount of taxes online giants pay and their publishing status. A spokesperson for Meta said: “Any insinuation or suggestion that, due to Nick Clegg’s previous role in government, he is now seeking or soliciting documents from officials is absurd and false.
“We are not aware of any investigation into this matter by the government and that is their business.
“Regarding the alleged content of a Zoom call involving Nick Clegg in June 2020, we have no idea what it specifically refers to and would need more substantiated details to respond fully.”
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said Sir Nick’s new role would mean he would become a “senior executive at the level of myself” with responsibility for “all political matters”.
Some have already referred to Sir Nick as “master of the metaverse”.
He moved into a £7million house in Silicon Valley, with his wife Miriam and their three sons.
The stunning California property in “America’s Most Expensive ZIP Code” features five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a pool, outdoor hot tub, and “patio fireplace.”