Cabbies Calling For Enquiry Into Cameron And Osborne's Dealings With Uber

6 April 2017, 11:21 | Updated: 6 April 2017, 15:56

Black cab drivers are today (Thursday) protesting in central London following claims George Osborne and David Cameron lobbied for Uber.

A recent Daily Mail article claimed George Osborne and David Cameron told aides to lobby then-Mayor Boris Johnson against curbs to Uber in 2015. 

Following the claims, black cab drivers have taken to central London today to protest.

They are urging Theresa May to launch a parliamentary enquiry into the claims. 

Earlier on in the day, LBC weekday Presenter James O'Brien quizzed the Mayor of London Sadiq about Uber, which has left the black cab trade in turmoil over recent years.

Martin, a black cab driver, phoned into the show to say that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said Sadiq Khan can cap the number of private hire vehicles in London. 

But Sadiq said that's not the case, saying: "I can't cap it."

Martin replied: "So is Chris Grayling lying? Tell London now if you think Chris Grayling is lying."

Sadiq said: "Yeah, he is." 

The claims come after George Osborne was recently appointed Editor of the Evening Standard.

James O'Brien asked the Mayor: "The future Editor of the London Evening Standard, George Osborne, is hardly likely to write a story critical of a company when he's doing one day a week with an investment fund that's got half a billion quid invested in Uber?"

Sadiq responded: "Well that's a question for George Osborne to answer as the future Editor of the Standard."

James went on: "But as the Mayor of London does it worry you that one of the most, if not the most, senior journalist in the city, that you govern, is open to accusations of being in bed with Uber? At a time when black cab drivers...are having a hell of a time?"

The Mayor responded: "I've been quite clear. My relationship with Uber is very different to the previous administrations, and to people in the previous government. A very different relationship.

"I'm on a regular basis being taken to court, on a regular basis being criticised by Uber. I'm not anti minicabs, I just think we should have high quality across London.

"Nobody can accuse my administration of being involved in a timocracy. I think there are issues in relation to the way Uber behave, and they've been expressed in all forms of the media.

"Whether it's broadcast, whether it's the print media. You saw the articles in the Daily Mail. I'm quite clear. I think we should have a two-tier system in London.

"I think there is a place for black taxis and a place for minicabs. I want the highest quality minicabs operating in London. I want the government to give me more powers so I can address Martin's frustrations.

"But I'm not going to pretend I've got powers that I haven't, and if government ministers are misleading members of the public, or black cab drivers like Martin, it's really important that I set them straight."