Mayor of London accuses Uber of making 'aggressive threats' after London licence loss

Online petition reaches 730,000 signatures

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan accused Uber today of putting “unfair pressure” on Transport for London (TfL) with its “army” of PR experts and lawyers. Khan also said that London would continue to be a place for new technology, but the new firms to establish themselves must “play by the rules.”

In a dramatic decision last Friday, TfL has refused to renew the licence of the tech giant for lacking “corporate responsibility,” Khan backed the move.

While speaking to BBC today, Khan said that the tech giant was trying to play both ways. Uber has been making “aggressive” threats about taking the transport body to the court on one hand and, at the same time, also briefing journalists that they want to make a deal, adding he condemns this approach as TfL is “always happy” to talk to private hire operators.

“I want companies that abide by the rules, I want companies that innnovate, harbour new technologies, I want disruptive technology coming to London but you’ve got to play by the rules,” Khan added.

This response comes just a day after Uber said that they are willing to talk to the transport body and the mayor to discuss what changes they can do to continue their operations. “But that requires a dialogue, we sadly haven’t been able to have recently,” Uber’s London general manager, Tom Elvidge said, adding that 3.5m Londoners and 40,000 drivers rely on the app and “would expect us to work together to get this right.”

Immediately after the decision of TfL last Friday, Uber had started an online petition on Change.org asking the mayor to reverse this decision. This campaign has already collected over 730,000 signatures and is targeting one million supporters. Talking about this development, Khan said that the tech giant has 21 days to appeal TfL’s decision, Uber can continue to provide its services in London “until the appeals process has been exhausted.”

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