A Lib Dems party spokesperson has declined to “comment on any honours list speculation”, but the announcement is expected to be made on Saturday (December 30) when the full Honours list is revealed.
Clegg will honoured for his work as both a cabinet minister and deputy leader under the 2010 – 2015 coalition with David Cameron. Mr Clegg was leader of the Lib Dems for eight years, until he resigned in 2015 having overseen the collapse in support for his party in the general election. Following this, Clegg lost his seat in Sheffield Hallam in this year’s election to Labour’s Jared O’Mara, but has continued to be a heavyweight political figure for Remainers in light of Brexit.
Other Lib Dems politicians that served in the coalition have previously been knighted, such as Vince Cable and Ed Davey.
Despite the news of his knighthood, it is still likely to be controversial.
In his book How to Stop Brexit, Mr Clegg wrote: “There is nothing remotely inevitable about Brexit – except that it will be deeply damaging if it happens.”
The former Lib Dem leader sparked further fury among Eurosceptics when he travelled to Brussels to meet EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. He, and two other Remain supporters, veteran Tory Ken Clarke, and Labour peer Lord Adonis, were accused of trying to interfere in Brexit talks. Brexiters such as UKIP education spokesman David Kurten tweeted: “UK establishment to knight Nick Clegg and Vince Cable, but ignores Nigel Farage. Says it all about the people currently in charge. Time to drain the swamp.”
Ex-UKIP leader Nigel Farage claimed last week he was being left out of the 2018 list because of his politics. In the Daily Telegraph he remarked: “Of course I have not got an honour of any kind – I am not a Remainer. Every one of them got CBEs, they got knighthoods, quite extraordinary.”
For others, Clegg will be remembered for turning his party back on a major pledge not to increase tuition fees – causing his party’s poll ratings to plummet, and for Clegg to publicly apologise for the affair. His apology has been lampooned by many satirical websites.
It is likely that Mr Clegg’s honour was delayed until he left the Commons, as has been the case with other former MPs.