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Taxi union “demands” re-trial into Uber London relicensing hearing as questions around judge’s impar

London taxi representatives have called for a re-trial into the London Uber relicensing case earlier this summer following questions raised over the presiding judge’s impartiality. Judge Emma Arbuthnot has stepped aside from any future court cases involving the controversial minicab operator following a conflict of interest involving her husband’s business and Uber. The London Cab Drivers Club took to social and tweeted: “The Taxi Trade Demands a re-trial - more proof the Cab trade had once again not received a fair hearing”

The chief magistrate has recently gave judgment on two Uber court hearings finding in favour of the much maligned ride-hailing firm on both occasions in London and Reading respectively. Arbuthnot was due to preside over the forthcoming Uber relicensing hearing in Brighton, but following an investigation by The Guardian has since pulled out. In June, Uber were given a 15 month licence in London with various conditions attached after an appeal hearing lasting only two days out of the expected 3 or 4. Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the LTDA, said after the hearing in June: “At times the hearing felt almost rushed, she asked few questions and paid scant attention as a catalogue of Ubers mistakes and disregard for TfL and licensing rules in general were read out. “Uber’s general manager, Elvidge, was decimated by TfL’s QC during questioning on Ubers operational methods. He openly admitted a plethora of lies and rule breaking including the fact that the app had been operating in contravention of the 98 Act but by Monday afternoon it had become clear the Magistrate was merely going through the motions. In fact, she could have saved everyone a lot of time, effort and money had she admitted as much and given them the licence there and then!” 

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