Tory MP who could stand against Sadiq Khan makes his first move
Ed Vaizey accused the mayor of 'taking London backwards'.
The decision by Transport for London to reject Uber’s application for a new licence in London has been fully supported by Sadiq Khan - and slammed by most Tories.
The company’s application to renew its licence was rejected on the grounds that "Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility" in relation to reporting serious criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and driver background checks.
The London mayor said: “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.”
Others welcoming the move included TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady. She said: “It's perfectly possible to run a taxi company without treating drivers poorly or cutting corners on safety. Uber's fate is of its own making.
“This should be a cautionary tale for gig economy employers. Unions will expose your nasty schemes to cheat workers out of rights.”
Among those far less impressed were Tory communications director Carrie Symonds and a host of Tory MPs.
Croydon South Chris Philp argued that the move sent “a terrible signal that London is anti-free market and anti-innovation”.
Highly-rated Tonbridge MP and foreign affairs select committee chair Tom Tugendhat declared that Khan was “showing that socialism is about control when the internet is pushing for freedom of choice”.
And perhaps most notably, Ed Vaizey – who many Tory MPs reckon is their best bet to take over as mayor of London - weighed in.
The Wantage MP and former culture minister is a pal of former chancellor George Osborne. Like the former chancellor, he is a remainer who was sacked by Theresa May when she because prime minister.
Unlike Osborne (and perhaps with an eye on City Hall), he has held back from slamming Tory Brexiteers and saying what he really thinks about the prime minister in public.
But he was more forthcoming about Khan.