Uber has found unexpected support in the ongoing row of London license, which the Transport for London (TFC) refused to renew last week. The support has come from none other than British Prime Minister Theresa May, whose support will certainly come as a shot in the arm for Uber Inc.
Speaking to BBC, May described Uber’s blanket ban in London as “disproportionate.” She claimed that while there were “safety concerns for Uber to address” but refusal to renew the license has put thousands of jobs at risk. May also stressed that ban on Uber will also have an affect 3.5 million consumers, who are dependent on the cab hailing services for their commuting needs.
She equally targeted the London Mayor Sadiq Khan for being insensitive towards people whose jobs are dependent on Uber, while emphasizing that Uber’s presence is needed to challenge the monopoly of traditional black cabs.
The London license fiasco started last week, after TFC refused to renew the Uber license citing public safety reasons. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is also Chairman of TFC, unanimously supported the decision. He claimed that the cab hailing company deserved to lose the license, arguing London citizen’s public safety must come first.
Finding itself in yet another legal maze, Uber’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi immediately shot an open letter, wherein he offered unconditional apology for all the past mistakes his company has been committing and promised to immediately correct them.
Uber’s London license is due to expire on September 30, with the company immediately clarifying that it will challenge the decision. Meanwhile, the cab hailing giant can continue to offer services in London during the appeal process, which can last for almost a year.
The London license fiasco could not have come at a worse time for Uber, which is apparently the world’s most valued startup. The cab hailing juggernaut currently finds itself in maze of legal and regulatory issues across several critical markets, which is taking toll on company’s valuation and profitability.