With minimal legislation passing through parliament, will the report ever see the light of day?
With Brexit looming within the next four weeks, it is hoped that the paralysis which has seemingly entrenched parliament will finally be lifted and some form of Government can start to function again.
However, is it too late for the Task and Finish Report into Taxis and Private Hire? We spoke to both GLA members and an MP about the current situation. Worryingly there was a consensus that it could take a very long time for any form of new legislation to be passed.
When we asked Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North about the prospect of the passing of new legislation, he made it clear that there was cross-party support for the Task and Finish report. So therefore it should be relatively straightforward to pass new legislation, but it seems to have been put to one side for the time being.
We also spoke to Keith Prince, Conservative member of the London Assembly, who, when asked if he thought that the Task and Finish report would be brought into legislation, said: "I sincerely hope so. I’m hoping to meet with Grant Shapps in the not-too-distant future and that would be one of the questions I would ask him."
He added: "There will always be something more important to the government than what maybe on any given authority's agenda.”
When we spoke to Caroline Pidgeon and asked the Lib-Dem London Assembly member if she thought that Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps would be more receptive to the Mayor's requests surrounding the taxi and private hire industry, especially given the fact that Boris Johnson was the previous London Mayor, she said: "If we were in normal political times, putting Brexit aside, you would think that we have a PM who understands the issues, and who would be receptive to legislative changes, and bring in things that he may have wanted to do as Mayor but couldn't, and find the space to make those changes. Whether it be defining plying for hire or bringing in cross border hiring legislation.
"But the reality is, with Brexit there is no space at any level in government or across Parliament for anything else. The reality is until there is some sort of conclusion in relation to Brexit, there is not going to be any space to create legislation, potentially for years in my view."
After being asked if she felt that the Task and Finish report could end up on the back burner, Caroline replied: "I'm afraid I think it will, and that is such a shame because there was a lot of work put into it.
"But that is how I see politics at the moment, there's just no space. I talk to people in Parliament, I talk to people in the Lords, there's just no space. There's been no legislation coming through whatsoever. Every government department is planning for a number of different scenarios because of the Brexit situation. There is just no parliamentary space."
So despite cross-party agreement, the Task and Finish report seems to have been thwarted for the time being due to the paralysis of parliament over Brexit.
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