Uber denied new London operating licence

Uber app logo displayed on a mobile telephone as it is held up for a posed

While we haven't been asked to make any changes, we would like to know what we can do. "But that required a dialogue we have not been able to have", said Tom Elvidge, Uber's General Manager in London.

TfL, the London mayor's transport authority, announced on Friday that Uber had been stripped of its London licence in a surprise move that dealt a serious blow to one of Silicon Valley's fastest rising companies.

Transport for London said that Uber demonstrates a "lack of corporate responsibility" tied to a number of its behaviors, such as failing to report sexual assault by its drivers and using lax background checks.

The ride-hailing firm's current licence is due to run until 30 September, and it has 21 days to appeal against TfL's decision, and option Uber will take up while it continues to operate until a decision is reached.

Uber's new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, used a global email to staff to warn that TfL's decision could "have profound negative consequences for the 40,000 drivers who depend on Uber for work and the 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get around".

Elvidge's tone changed from Friday, when he promised immediate legal action and said London Mayor Sadiq Khan had "caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice".

Uber Technologies collected more than 500,000 signatures in less than 24 hours on a petition to protest London's decision to not renew the company's taxi license, a setback in one of its most lucrative markets.




Uber has been asking to meet Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, since his election in May 2016 but those requests have been rejected, according to sources close to the U.S. company.

Khan, a leading figure in Britain's opposition Labour Party, said on Saturday he had sympathy with Uber drivers and customers.

"It's a technical decision that picks up the spirit of the age", said Tony Travers, an expert on local government at the London School of Economics.

But TfL had five meetings in the past 12 months with Uber's biggest rival, it's been revealed, despite it not even operating in London. But he noted that 40,000 drivers and millions of riders were dependent on the service.

He also accused Uber of using their position to push wages below the minimum wage and describing the status of Uber workers in a way in which the company doesn't pay national insurance contributions.

"I suspect it will take some time before this situation with Uber fully plays out".

Uber is likely to come under more fire next week when it appears in court to appeal a verdict that granted two of its drivers rights such as the minimum wage, the latest "gig economy" battle between firms lauding the flexibility enjoyed by self-employed drivers and unions accusing them of exploitation.

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