MPs call on Transport for London to strip Uber of London licence

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MPs have called for Uber to be stripped of its London licence amid accusations the controversial taxi firm failed to report alleged sexual assaults on passengers.

A cross-party group of politicians, made up of Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, have written a letter urging Transport for London (TfL) not to renew Uber’s licence for operating in the capital.

It comes after the Met Police accused the taxi firm of not reporting all alleged sexual assaults by drivers on passengers.

According to the Mail Online, during the 12 months from February last year police recorded 48 allegations of sexual assault involving Uber drivers, which were only reported by passengers or TfL.

In the letter written to TfL, Labour MP Wes Streeting said MPs “do not believe that Uber has shown itself to be a fit and proper operator”.

It states: “The safety of Londoners must be at the forefront of decisions taken about the taxi and private hire industry in our capital city. We do not believe that Uber has shown itself to be a fit and proper operator.”

In May, Uber was granted only a four-month licence to continue working in London with regulators debating whether to allow the taxi firm to continue working in the capital.

City Hall has faced calls to ban the app, while the GMB union has in the past threatened legal action.

It claims the firm’s business model sees drivers work excessive hours “to the detriment of the health and safety” of them and other road users.

Earlier this month, Inspector Neil Billany of the Met Police wrote to TfL saying Uber’s alleged failure to report sex attacks was “clearly affecting the safety and security of the public.”

In his letter, Mr Streeting, who is chairman All Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis, added: “Competition in the taxi and private hire industry is welcome, but it must be on a level playing field and the safety of passengers must be paramount.”

An Uber spokesman told the Mail Online: “More than 40,000 drivers rely on our app to make a living, with average fares last year of £15 an hour after our service fee.

“Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced background checks as black cab drivers.

“Our technology goes further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS and we employ former Met Police officers who work closely with the police.”

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