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Facebook has hired former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg as the head of its global affairs and communications team.

The appointment of the former Liberal Democrat leader, who lost his parliamentary seat at last year's general election, comes as the social media giant faces criticism over the proliferation of "fake news", a data scandal and mass security breaches.

He is due to take up his post on Monday and will move to California with his family in the New Year.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was personally involved in hiring Mr Clegg, who is understood to be the most senior European politician to take up a senior executive role in Silicon Valley.

The move will be seen as part of the effort by the under-fire company to mend its badly tarnished reputation, by recruiting outsiders to its top team.

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Mr Clegg also knows his way around Brussels, where Facebook could face some of its toughest challenges, having served as a trade negotiator and a member of the European Parliament.

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