Black cab drivers’ union, Unite, today (March 27, 2017) echoed calls for an inquiry into links between senior Conservative figures and Uber and their role in lobbying against tighter private taxi hire regulation.
The call follows accusations of a ‘cover up’ amid reports that ex-prime minister David Cameron and George Osborne allegedly told aides to lobby Boris Johnson against curbs on the online taxi firm Uber when he was Mayor of London.
According to reports Downing Street failed to give details of an alleged ‘lobbying operation’ when asked to do so under freedom of information laws last year.
Unite also called for the deregulation act to be scrapped. The act allows private hire and Uber drivers to be licenced by one licensing authority, such as TfL and free to operate anywhere in England and Wales.
Commenting Mike Hedges chair of Unite’s cab section said, “There needs to be a full inquiry into what appears to be an ‘Uber’ lobbying effort by senior Conservative figures on behalf of the taxi app.
“The whole affair raises serious questions over the deregulation act which was passed on David Cameron’s watch, when George Osborne was chancellor and Boris Johnson was Mayor of London.
“The deregulation act effectively leaves Uber drivers licenced in London free to operate anywhere in England and Wales unknown to the local licensing authority.”
He concluded, “This freedom to operate without any checks and balances needs to end and a cap on the number of private hire drivers taking to streets needs to be seriously considered.”