Sadiq Khan has been accused of ‘capitulating to his trade union paymasters’. Mr Khan was handed £30,000 by the GMB, which he ploughed into his race against Zac Goldsmith
Sadiq Khan has been accused of ‘capitulating to his trade union paymasters’ after the MoS revealed the taxi drivers’ union bankrolled the London Mayor’s election campaign.
Mr Khan was handed £30,000 by the GMB, which he ploughed into his race against Zac Goldsmith last May. Conservative MP Chris Philp last night accused Mr Khan of letting down Londoners, adding: ‘He has put the union’s agenda ahead of the interests of ordinary Londoners who want choice and convenience.’
The decision to ban Uber in London was facing a backlash last night amid claims it was the result of ‘vested interests’.
Transport for London sensationally stripped the global taxi app of its licence to operate in the capital on Friday, claiming it was not ‘fit and proper’.
But the move has been met with fury by its millions of customers. Last night a petition demanding the ban – which is subject to an appeal – be rescinded had received nearly 580,000 signatures.
There were also fears that the move could lead to Uber being banned in 40 other towns and cities, including Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff.
The reaction has put pressure on London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the former Labour MP who is chairman of TfL’s board.
Dame Esther Rantzen was yesterday among those voicing their fears that the loss of Uber drivers would put people in danger when out late at night.
Transport for London sensationally stripped the global taxi app of its licence to operate in the capital on Friday, claiming it was not ‘fit and proper’
The app, which connects passengers to drivers using smartphone GPS technology, is hugely popular in London, with 3.5 million users and 40,000 drivers.
Although Mr Khan said Uber lacked ‘corporate responsibility’, MPs have accused the Mayor of bowing to union pressure. He had been given £30,000 for his mayoral campaign by the union that represents black cab drivers.
GMB, which has almost 640,000 members and campaigned for years against Uber’s presence in London, has called the ban an ‘historic victory’.
Explaining its decision, TfL raised concerns about the tech giant’s failure to report serious crimes by drivers and the firm’s vetting process.
Conservative MP Ed Vaizey said the ban was ‘very worrying’ and ‘draconian’, adding: ‘This decision is a result of vested interests.’ But last night, Dame Esther, who spent years spearheading safety campaigns, said: ‘In the past, when young people were desperate late at night and somebody stopped for them, many were tempted to jump in unlicensed cabs which can be very dangerous. I’m extremely worried that may happen again.’
Maureen Lipman, who is currently directing a West End version of The Knowledge, her late husband Jack Rosenthal’s TV comedy drama about cabbies, said: ‘I know Jack would have been ecstatic about the news. It’s brilliant TfL is standing up for the black cabbie.’
Last night, Mr Khan said: ‘It would be wrong for TfL to license Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners.’