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UBER FILES: Taxi trade writes to ‘victim’ Boris Johnson urging for inquiry into lobbying



Taxi industry representatives have written to the Prime Minister urging him to launch a inquiry into potential breaches of the ministerial code following the much publicised ‘Uber Files’ leak.


The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) claimed Boris Johnson was a ‘victim’ of Uber’s lobbying campaign during his tenure as Mayor of London.

Last month, more than 124,000 confidential Uber documents were leaked to the Guardian and other news outlets including BBC Panorama, which demonstrated the full extent of Uber’s global lobbying powers and more locally its efforts to twist regulation in London.


The documents confirmed many of the things noted in the taxi trade about its aggressive tactics, since it first entered the market over a decade ago.


The leaked files show how the company exerted influence over UK government ministers and advisers, including George Osborne, Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock, in off the book meetings, and hired close personal friends like Rachel Whetstone and Lynton Crosby to help them gain access to the top levels of the Cameron Government, ultimately preventing the then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, from clamping down on Uber and its damaging operating model.


Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said in TAXI Newspaper: “As I told Panorama, the most shocking part about all of this, is that Uber was able to get away with this for so long and that nothing has ever been done about what went on.

“He might be on his way out, but I have written to Boris Johnson, who basically fell victim to Uber’s lobbying campaign himself, as he was hamstrung by the government and prevented from doing, what he clearly knew was right, as Mayor of London. Whether he still feels that way, now that he has been in government, is another matter.


“I have urged him to launch an inquiry into potential breaches of the ministerial code by senior ministers in the Coalition Government, who failed to disclose meetings with Uber representatives and then pushed a pro-Uber agenda.


“I am also in contact with TfL about whether there is scope to review Uber’s operator’s licence and fit and proper status, in view of this new, undeniable evidence of their wrongdoing.“

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