Taxi app Uber was stripped of its London license Friday, a move that could see 40,000 private-hire drivers removed from the capital.
Transport for London, the local government body responsible for licensing laws, said the company’s permit would not be renewed at the end of September.
TfL has today informed Uber that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence. pic.twitter.com/nlYD0ny2qo
In a statement, the regulator said Uber was “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license,” citing a number of issues that had “potential public safety and security implications.” These include the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and its approach to background checks for drivers.
The move follows a long-standing dispute between the transport authority and Uber over the increasing number of private-hire cars in the capital in recent years. Unions have long been concerned about companies like Uber treating workers as contractors rather than staff, which can mean them losing out on rights like minimum wage and holiday and sick pay.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he supported 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,” he said in a statement shortly after the announcement.
In response to the decision, Uber accused TfL of caving to “a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice.” The company is expected to appeal the decision and will be allowed to continue operating throughout the legal process.
Uber has 40,000 drivers in the U.K. capital, and more than 3.5 million Londoners reportedly use the app.
This latest decision adds to the difficulties the company has experienced in recent months, after facing allegations of both sexism and bullying. Former CEO Travis Kalanick was forced to step down in June after pressure from investors.