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Uber chief to hold talks with London transport commissioner

Dara Khosrowshahi will meet Mike Brown of Transport for London (TfL) as Uber seeks to continue operating in the city.

The new boss of Uber will visit London for talks with the capital’s transport commissioner on Tuesday after the firm’s licence was not renewed.

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of the taxi app, will meet Mike Brown of Transport for London (TfL) as Uber seeks to continue operating in the city.

A TfL spokesman said: “Following an approach from Uber, and at the mayor’s request, London’s transport commissioner will meet with Uber’s global CEO in London next Tuesday.”

An Uber spokesman said: “Our new CEO is looking forward to meeting with the commissioner next week.

“As he said on Monday, we want to work with London to make things right.”

TfL refused to renew Uber’s licence last week on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.

Uber has said it will launch an appeal against the decision. It can continue to operate during that process.

The issues raised by TfL include Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how drivers’ medical certificates are obtained, how criminal record checks are carried out, and its use of technology which allegedly helps it to evade law enforcement officials.

Mr Khosrowshahi took over at Uber last month after predecessor Travis Kalanick resigned following a series of scandals.

In an open letter published after TfL’s decision he apologised for “the mistakes we’ve made” and accepted that the company had “got things wrong”.

He wrote that Uber will challenge the licence decision “with the knowledge that we must also change”.

More than 800,000 people have signed an online petition launched by Uber urging TfL to reverse its decision.

Mr Khosrowshahi thanked “everyone who uses Uber for your support over the last few days”.

Theresa May entered the row over Uber on Thursday, describing the proposed outlawing of its London operation as a “disproportionate” move that put thousands of jobs at risk.

The Prime Minister said lives would be damaged by TfL’s decision, which was backed by Labour London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Mrs May told BBC London: “At a stroke of a pen, what the mayor has done is risked 40,000 jobs and of course … damaged the lives of those 3.5 million Uber users.

“Yes there are safety concerns and issues for Uber to address, but what I want to see is a level playing field between the private firms and our wonderful London taxis, our black cabs, our great national institution.

“I want to see a level playing field. I think a blanket ban is disproportionate.”

A spokesman for the mayor said: “Sadiq has every sympathy with customers and drivers of Uber, but is clear that any anger must be directed at Uber itself.”

Uber enables users to book cars using their smartphones and is available in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK.

Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the app in London.

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