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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Uber ban: London’s mayor ‘pleased’ as taxi firm’s CEO issues apology

Sadiq Khan said he has asked London’s transport regulators to make themselves available for talks with Uber

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's boss, has apologised to Londoners for mistakes made by the firm. Matthew Lloyd/ Bloomberg
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's boss, has apologised to Londoners for mistakes made by the firm. Matthew Lloyd/ Bloomberg

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said he is “pleased” that Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has acknowledged the issues his company faces, three days after transport regulators decided not to renew the taxi service’s licence in the British capital.

Transport for London (TfL), the body that issues licences for taxi companies, decided that Uber was not “fit and proper” to continue operating in the city, citing the company’s approach to reporting crimes and making sufficient background checks on its drivers.

Uber said they would appeal the ban and late Monday morning chief Mr Khosrowshahi published an open letter to Londoners, in which he admitted that the company needed to change.

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He wrote: “While Uber has revolutionised the way people move in cities around the world, it’s equally true that we’ve got things wrong along the way. On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologise for the mistakes we’ve made.

London's mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed Dara Khosrowshahi's apology. Jack Taylor/Getty Images
London's mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed Dara Khosrowshahi's apology. Jack Taylor/Getty Images

“We will appeal [against] the decision on behalf of millions of Londoners, but we do so with the knowledge that we must also change.”

Mr Khosrowshahi, who was appointed as Uber chief in August, added: "We won't be perfect, but we will listen to you".

Speaking to the BBC early Monday morning, mayor of London, Mr Khan said the decision not to renew Uber’s licence had been down to TfL’s taxi and private hire department.

Addressing the growing pressure from many passengers to resolve the problem, the mayor, who chairs TfL, said it was improper for politicians to get involved in what he termed a “quasi-judicial matter”.

By Monday afternoon, in an apparent change of tone, Mr Khan said he “welcomed” the apology and had asked the regulators to make themselves available for talks.

"I welcome the apology from Dara Khosrowshahi, the Uber CEO. Obviously, I am pleased that he has acknowledged the issues that Uber faces in London,” he said.

"Even though there is a legal process in place, I have asked TfL to make themselves available to meet with him."

Mr Khan had previously accused Uber of acting in an “aggressive manner” by making threats to take TfL to court.

More than 730,000 people have signed an online petition protesting the ban, which was set up immediately after the ban was announced.

Uber, which operates in more than 20 locations across the UK and Ireland, is used by 3.5 million passengers in London and employs 40,000 drivers.