In a rather strange turn of events surrounding the Conservatives relationship with Uber, TaxiPoint have been given sight of a petition that has been directly drawn-up by Greg Hands, a Tory MP calling for Uber to be re-issued with a new license to operate in London. The petition reads as follows:
This petition has emerged after Theresa May backed the relicensing of Uber during a BBC interview in the run up to the Conservative conference.
Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North and the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group For Taxis immediately condemned the petition via his Twitter feed.
This now begs the following questions:
Does the Government have the right to intervene with Transport for Londons' remit pertaining to who is or isn't deemed fit and proper when issuing an operators license?
If it is discovered that any operator may have circumvented legislation, do the Government have the legal remit to over-rule any statute in legislation surrounding the 1998 Private Hire Act?
Are the Government too closely linked to Uber to have any sort of objective input into how they are regulated?
Will Chris Grayling, The Secretary of State for Transport make any attempt to resolve taxi and private hire issues and put through legislation surrounding plying for hire, cross-border hiring and giving authorities the ability to cap private hire driver numbers?
Does this whole affair render the All Party Parliamentary Group report null and void despite it being a cross-party entity.
The situation surrounding the licensing of Uber has turned the taxi and private hire industry into a political football from which the fall-out won't just affect 40000 Uber drivers in London. Any governmental interference surrounding legislation will directly affect more than a quarter of a million taxi and private hire.workers as well those that operate the support services within the industry UK wide. The game may well be played in London but the result will affect the nation.