Arise Sir Nick Clegg: Reaction as former deputy prime minister and Sheffield MP gets knighthood

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Former deputy prime minister and Sheffield MP Nick Clegg is to receive a knighthood.

Sir Nick, aged 50, who lost his parliamentary seat to Labour's Jared O'Mara earlier this year, will receive the title for services to politics.

The former Liberal Democrat leader was heavily criticised after U-turning on a pledge to scrap tuition fees following a coalition deal with the Conservatives in 2010.

In Sheffield, Sir Nick came under fire for defending a decision to cancel an £80 million loan to Brightside Lane steel firm Forgemasters.

Since leaving Parliament, he has continued to campaign against the UK's departure from the EU - recently publishing a book called How to Stop Brexit (and Make Britain Great Again).

The former Hallam MP said: "Grateful to have been included in the New Year Honours list in recognition of service over five years as DPM. The knighthood, in truth, belongs as much to my team in government as it does to me.

"And just to clear up a bit of confusion, the knighthood does NOT mean I will serve in the House of Lords. My aversion to unelected Legislatures remains."

The news of the knighthood has prompted nearly 50,000 people to sign various petition for the 50-year-old to give it up.

Petition organiser Simon Nicklin said: "Nick Clegg as former deputy prime minister did not keep his promise to university students with free tuition, his party was voted for and he entered into a coalition partly due to this failed promise to much of the electorate.

"He was not popular and continues not to be so in his efforts to thwart Brexit. He has written a book on how to stop Brexit. This is a blatant ignoring of the democratic process and he is not accepting the EU referendum.

There are plenty of other people who should have been offered such an honour, but to bestow a Knighthood on Nick Clegg is an insult to university students and all those who have voted to leave the EU."