Anti-Uber Unions Fund Sadiq’s Election Campaign

Sadiq Khan has dangled red meat to the unions over Uber since he became Mayor. The ban this morning was the second time the popular ride app service has been whacked by him. Why, you might ask, is Sadiq so keen to inconvenience the millions of Londoners – and potential voters – who use and enjoy the Uber app?

Electoral Commission records show that in 2015, Sadiq received almost £100,000 from three anti-Uber trade unions.

GMB: £20,000
TSSA: £15,000
Unite: £60,000

All three unions welcomed the decision today, they have been campaigning against new entrants into the taxi market for years. Limiting competition for taxis in London might hurt consumers, on the other hand it helps these powerful unions who are busily recruiting London cabbies to their ranks. Sadiq is paying them back ahead of passing the hat around next year for donations when he seeks re-election.

Sadiq has also burdened Uber with conditions attached to the Private-Hire Operators licence to which other operators are not being held. The last Uber London licence had 20 regulatory requirements, whereas other app based operators have no more than 9. Sadiq is singling out Uber for politcal reasons…

Uber Loses Licence to Operate in London

Uber’s licence to operate in London has ended today, but the company will continue to operate while it appeals TFL’s decision. Developing…

Readers may remember this has happened before. In 2017 Sadiq tried to ban Uber but the company won on appeal. This looks a lot like the Mayor flexing his muscles…

Khan’s £1-a-Ride Tax Starts Today

Sadiq’s new emissions tax means private hire vehicles will need to pay the Congestion Charge of up to £11.50 per day when driving in the central London “Ultra Low Emission Zone”. As a result from today a £1 central London fee will be added to every Uber trip that starts, ends or passes through the city centre. Khan’s tax is being passed directly on to consumers, it will also hike costs for London’s shops and accelerate the shift to online retailers, which is why the Taxpayers’ Alliance dubs his charge zone an “Ultra Low Enterprise Zone”.

Khan says it is to combat air pollution. In which case it is irrelevant to the rapidly improving trend:

Despite a growing population air pollution in London was 900% higher within living memory. So what is he trying to achieve? He’s raising revenue to splurge for his re-election. Car drivers in the suburbs don’t vote for him and businesses don’t have votes, so he calculates he can tax ’em without losing votes.

In fact across the UK Britain is getting cleaner air at rapid rate. Khan’s tax is neither here nor literally there.Every time Guido gets into an Uber he’ll curse Khan’s tax. So will Londoners…

Labour Revoke Uber’s Licence in Brighton

The Labour administration that runs Brighton and Hove City council has revoked Uber’s licence to operate in the city. They are citing a 2016 data breach by American hackers to declare that Uber do not meet the fit and proper persons test. Uber will appeal, if they lose Brighton residents will no longer be able to use the taxi app. Socialism isn’t cool, kids…

Jared Tips His Uber Driver £1… Then Claims It On Expenses

Stingy Jared O’Mara tipped his Uber driver just £1 – and then claimed it on expenses. A look through the absent Sheffield Hallam MP’s latest expenses records shows that last year, back when he was still turning up to work, Jared spent nearly £900 of taxpayers’ money on Uber journeys in just a couple of months. One driver back in August clearly deserved five stars because Jared deemed him worthy of a generous £1 tip. Which he swiftly then claimed back on expenses. 

Using Uber is probably a worse crime than his internet postings in the eyes of the Corbynista-controlled Labour disputes panel…

Angry Sadiq Confronted With Uber Dishonesty

In 2015 Sadiq Khan called himself an “Uber man”. Now he claims he’s never taken one. Confronted with his dishonesty by a caller on his LBC phone-in earlier, Sadiq snapped…

Sadiq: “I’m an Uber Man”

Yesterday Sadiq Khan claimed he had never taken an Uber. Yet this video has emerged of him in 2015 admitting: “I’m both an Uber and a black cab man”. You can’t trust him…

Corbyn Can’t Say If He’s Used Uber

Increasingly farcical Marr interview in which Corbyn refuses to answer any questions…

#SaveUber London Petition Launched

Uber-Bashing Streeting Paid By GMB

Ilford Labour MP Wes Streeting is all over the TV hailing the Uber ban and reeling off lines attacking the company. Viewers aren’t being informed that in July Streeting took £7,500 from the GMB union which has been leading the campaign against Uber.

London Labour MPs hurting their constituents to please their union paymasters…

Khan Chooses Union Backers Over 3.5 Million Londoners

Faced with the choice between 3.5 million Londoners and his taxi union backers, Sadiq chose the unions. Khan promised he would not be a mayor for vested interests, well he has just hit Londoners in the pocket to please his GMB union backers who have been running the campaign against Uber. And he has delighted his militant LTDA union chum Steve Macnamara:

Londoners seeing first hand what a Labour mayor in hoc to the unions does for them…

BREAKING: Uber Licence Revoked

Extraordinary decision. 3.5 million Londoners and 40,000 drivers use Uber, Sadiq is now going to have to explain to them why they are out of a job and out of pocket. Khan pays back the taxi unions who put him in City Hall…

The Tories say:

“This is a hugely damaging decision by Sadiq Khan that will effectively put 40,000 people out of work at the click of a finger. The Mayor consistently tells us London is open but in shutting down the operations of an innovative market leader like Uber he has caused immense reputational damage to our city as a global business hub.”

How is Khan going to explain this?

UPDATE: Guido understands TfL informed Uber of their decision 1 minute before they tweeted it. Remarkable behaviour.

UPDATE II: Uber will challenge the decision in the courts. Their statement:

“3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living, will be astounded by this decision. By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport. To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts… This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers.”

UPDATE III: Khan points out it was TfL’s decision but he backs it:

“All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect – particularly when it comes to the safety of customers. Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security. I fully support TfL’s decision – it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security. Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules.”

Osborne Defends BlackRock’s £500 Million Investment on Standard Front Page

George Osborne has defended his employer BlackRock’s half-a-billion pound investment on the front page of the Evening Standard. In the most glaring conflict of interest since his editorship began, today’s Standard blasts Rebecca Long-Bailey as “out of touch” for criticising Uber, and favourably quotes her own colleagues who support the taxi app. BlackRock, which invested in Uber in 2014, has a stake now worth some £500 million. BlackRock pays Osborne a salary of £600,000 for 48 days work per year.

BlackRock keeps Osborne on retainer and it is in BlackRock’s direct financial interests to see Uber defended, Osborne will no doubt argue that he defends Uber on the Evening Standard front page for liberal reasons. Guido did warn him that as editor he would have to navigate a minefield of conflicted interests when he took the job. This was inevitable…

UPDATE: The first edition of the Standard had no mention of Uber on the front page. Second edition splashed it. Did someone pick up the phone to the editor? 

Freedom-Hating Socialism is Back: Using Uber “Not Morally Acceptable”

This morning Guido was driven in an Uber by a student who liked the work because he could log on whenever he had spare time and whenever he liked.[…] Read the rest

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May an Analogue Prime Minister in a Digital Age

In the May v May interview in City AM this morning, Theresa May’s answers to Christian May’s quickfire round were revealing:

Hayek or Keynes? “I have one theory which is you have to live within your means.”

Well that is hardly true, is it.[…] Read the rest

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Owen Jones Meets a Unionised Worker

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You spend your entire adult life defending unionised workers and what do you get to show for it? Last night poor old Owen Jones was nearly knocked off his bike by a dangerous black cab driver, who then wound down the window and told him: “I f***ing love it when you cyclists die”.[…] Read the rest

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Labour’s Nonsensical Plan to Enshrine Uber Ruling

uber-apps

Labour are seeking to enshrine Friday’s hotly-contested ruling that Uber drivers are workers entitled to various benefits from the owners of the app. Shadow Culture minister Louise Haigh has put down an amendment to the Digital Economy Bill to enshrine the ruling, despite it still being subject to an appeal from Uber.[…] Read the rest

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Khan Caves in to Taxi Unions

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Sadiq Khan has caved in to the taxi unions and awarded black cab drivers a staggering £65 million taxpayer subsidy, 100 new taxi ranks across London and the installation of 90 highly expensive rapid chargers, which electric private hire vehicles will not be allowed to use.[…] Read the rest

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New Uber Rival Tries to Get Unions Onside

DAVID ISHAG KARHOO UNIONS

Karhoo is the new challenger to Uber, offering a “marketplace” for existing minicab firms to compete for your lift. Announcing its expansion today in Parliament, a gathering of taxi firm operators, politicians, and even a GMB representative turned up to hear the British CEO Daniel Ishag talk-up the firm’s three to five minute wait time in central London. […] Read the rest

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Uber, But For Brexit

whetstone

Isabel Oakeshott’s write up of working the room with Arron Banks at the White House Correspondents Dinner is filled with nuggets. She reveals the Uber app comms chief Rachel Whetstone is backing Brexit:

“Hovering at entrance to the 30,000-square-foot ballroom, we are surprised to bump into David Cameron’s former policy chief Steve Hilton, now US-based.

[…] Read the rest

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