London Refuses Uber License to Operate, Says Firm 'Not Fit and Proper'

Image: London Uber
A smartphone displays the 'Uber' mobile application which allows users to hail private-hire cars from any location.Oli Scarff / Getty Images file

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/ Source: Reuters
By Alastair Jamieson

LONDON — Uber is set to lose its license to operate in London from next month after local regulators ruled it was not a “fit and proper” business.

The San Francisco-based company will not have its current permit renewed when it expires in eight days’ time, Transport for London (TfL) announced.

"All companies in London must play by the rules"

"TfL considers that Uber's approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications," it said in a statement.

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Uber said it would appeal the decision, according to Reuters, allowing its car-hailing app to continue operating until the outcome was known.

In London, the firm has faced criticism from unions, lawmakers and traditional black taxi drivers over working conditions. TfL renewed the company's permit to operate in May for a period of four months.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said he fully backed the decision.

“I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology,” he said in a statement. “However, 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.”

He added: “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.”

In April, Uber said it would offer drivers a limited package of paid sick leave in response to concern that firms such as Uber and Deliveroo in the “gig economy” do not provide sufficient rights to their workers.