WHY did Boris Johnson, staunch defender of the black cab trade, soften his line on Uber at the London Assembly last month?
Previously he’d criticised the “excessively bumptious” US private hire firm that, with its technology, was destroying the good old black cab. But then last month Boris said the “free market” and “consumer choice” meant cab drivers would have to accept the rise of Uber. What changed?
Motoring around town last night, we got chatting to our black-cab driver Wayne, who mentioned a conversation that he’d had with his mate Grant. Grant happens to be Grant Davis, chairman of the London Cab Drivers’ Club and a lunch companion of one Boris Johnson, whom he updates on the black cab situation around City Hall.
Over their cheese and pickle last week, Boris apparently told Grant, who told Wayne who told The Londoner, that he’d been personally told by David Cameron to leave Uber alone.
So why this unusual assertion of authority? The chat in the cabbies’ rests is that Dave’s good mate is Steve Hilton. And Steve’s trouble-and-strife Rachel Whetstone, also a family friend, happens to be Uber’s newly appointed UK.
Another Uber Driver, looking at his SatNav instead of the road!
Source: Evening Standard 11th June 2015 Page 18