Saturday, December 05, 2015

Think You Can Do A Better Job At Taxi And Private Hire?...Step Up And Be Counted.

Think you can do a better job at Palestra?
Well, here's your chance to prove it.
They are currently looking for an information manager, (must be all them formation we've been giving them lately that's piling up) and with the right skills and knowledge, they say the salary in flexible!!! 

Information Manager - Taxi & Private Hire.


 - TfL, Taxi and Private Hire


 - Communications

Position Type - Full Time

Information Manager -Taxi and Private Hire

Salary: circa £45,000pa however a degree of flexibility on the salary will be considered depending on skills, knowledge & experience.

Location: Southwark
Type: Permanent

London’s taxi and private hire industries play a vital role in our city’s transport network, providing crucial services by operating at times and places where other public transport modes are often unavailable.

Transport for London(TfL) is working hard to improve how it engages with London’s 25,000 taxi drivers and 93,000 private hire drivers and the trade bodies that represent them. 

So, TfL finally realise they desperately need to improve how they engage with us.
Are they now, admitting they have no one in their whole organisation who has the skills and knowledge to improve engagement and deal with the incompetence and inadequacies, currently smothering their systems.

We could have told them this years ago!

RMT Taxi driver's protest causes more Friday night chaos

      Taxis driving slowly on London Road

Taxis caused further Friday night traffic chaos in Leicester as more than 80 took part in a go-slow protest around the city centre.

The cabs set off from Victoria Park on London Road at 4.30pm before heading down to the inner ring road and along Belgrave Gate and Charles Street.

They were protesting over a new Leicester City Council scheme that gives drivers points for offences like illegal parking and not wearing their name badges. The points can lead to them losing their licences.

While motorists stuck in traffic sounded their horns to express their feelings about the slow-moving taxis, few pedestrians had much love for the RMT union members either.

Clive Atkinson, 45, who was watching the cabs pass slowly by the Hind pub opposite Leicester Station, said: "They're causing mayhem for people who have homes to go to and children to pick up and it's not right.

"It's just causing misery."

His friend Paul Williams, 43, said: "It's ridiculous. It's the third time they've done it an it just causes chaos and achieves nothing."

Debbie Taylor, 53, of Clarendon Park, who was walking home up London Road as the protest began, said: "They're going to cause a lot of congestion and maybe make themselves feel better but I don't think it will have any affect in the long term."

Ahead of the protest, Umar Khan, Leicestershire and Rutland RMT branch secretary, said the cabbies had no choice.

He said: "At the end of the day we have to protest because our members livelihoods are being put at risk.

"The city council wants us to spend £6,000 on having new taxis but they won't provide the ranks for us all.

"Now they want to give us points for stopping where we shouldn't and for not wearing name badges."

City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby confirmed he would not back down and scrap the new scheme.

He said: "The taxi drivers seem determined to cause inconvenience to the people of Leicester and put their privileges at risk.

"It is interesting to note there were only 85 taxis participating - far fewer than the 275 limit set by the police.

"That demonstrates the majority of the hackney carriage drivers have got the message.

"I say again there is absolutely no chance of there being any negotiations with the RMT on this. None at all."

Sir Peter had threatened to strip the hackney drivers of privileges, such as use of bus lanes and restrictions on the number of licences issued, if they protested again.

However he said he had yet to decide whether he would enact that threat.

He said: "I will have to think about it on Monday.

"I need to find a balance between the majority of drivers who have got the message and are not protesting and my annoyance at those who are persisting with these futile protests."


UberPool launched this afternoon, but not to the perceived fanfare the management expected. 

It appears from the drivers forum, that Uber's drivers are in no way happy about the responsibility attached to the apps new service. It appears company are forcing its drivers under the terms and conditions of their contracts to service the new option. But, many drivers are forming small protest groups which if link together, could cause the new service huge problems. 

Uber are counting on the fact that most drivers are too scared to speak out for fear of being slung off the platform after signing a leasing agreement for their vehicle.

The American minicab company's drivers, have become a victim of the smartphone app's apparent success. As the app became more attractive, not just to new drivers but to existing minicab drivers, who left their operators in droves. They leased/rented the more economical Prius' by the thousands, leaving smaller minicab firms struggling for manpower. The shortage of labour meant that many local suburban circuits have now closed down. 


Uber London may find they are skating on thin ice, as in Paris, disgruntled Uber drivers have now successfully started their own app called VTC.
(VTC is a French acronym for private chauffeur services that are not affiliated with taxi companies)

The app's founder, Mohammed Radi, says the aim is to provide a way for Uber drivers to do business on their terms. "We want to re-establish and regain our rights over Uber".

Riding high on the new wave of patriotism currently sweeping the capital, the big selling point of the new app is "Made in France".
But then, they couldn't really expect loyalty from a bunch of mercenary Taxi industry rejects.

Friday, December 04, 2015

One Of The Last Bastions Of The Licensed Taxi Trade, Under Threat.... By Jim Thomas

The Taxi For Hire Light : Will Uber Circumvent Legislation ?

On the day Uber launch UberPool, a service that former commissioner of TfL, Sir Peter Hendy said would be illegal, they now announce plans to (again) circumvent the Taxi "For Hire" Signage legislation. 

Last year, Uber cars were photographed displaying illuminate signage in the front windscreen, in the form of a blue neon U.

Licensing authorities up and down the country ordered Uber to cease and desist, over a number of issues. Not only were they contravening the terms of their licence in regards of displaying an illuminate "For Hire" sign, but also, only certain emergency services are allowed under current law to display blue lights. 
See list below: 

But now Uber believe they have found a way round the "For Hire" light restriction . 

Below is a short article that has just started to appear on line.

Problem: Passengers getting in the wrong car!
Yesterday, Uber announced that it has come up with a solution, something a little easier than scanning the street for license plates. 

SPOT helps riders find their drivers by displaying a neon light on the driver’s windshield. Users can simply look at their app, pick what color they want their driver to display, and follow the appropriate green, blue, pink, yellow or whatever color glow. 

Actually they haven't learnt from previous experience. As we've said its illegal to display a blue light, but hey, this is Uber...they can do what they like, as TfL, with most of there licensing contraventions, just turn a blind eye. 

Below is a letter from Manchester's compliance team, sent when the blue U first materialised in their city:

Dear Mr xxxxx

I am now in a position to update you on the concerns you raised. I am aware that you have recently written to the Executive Member, Cllr Chappell to express concerns that this matter was not being dealt with, I can assure you that this was not the case.

Our initial enquiries into this matter were centred around identifying the device that was installed into private hire vehicles, examining the device and determining its purpose.  Uber were then informed of our views and compliance with relevant legislation was requested.  Uber have given instructions to all their drivers to remove the illuminated sign from their vehicles.  We are now monitoring the situation to ensure compliance.
Andy Scragg
Senior Compliance Officer
Licensing Unit

Let's hope that TfL compliance are as quick to respond to this issue, should Uber London decide to equip it's vehicles with for hire lights in the capital.

Let's also hope our representative orgs take a preemptive approach to this rather than wait till its becomes an established practise.

A Footnote For Marc Turner's Semtex.

 A great report from our friend and colleague Marc Turner. Certainly, there is a genuine amount of heart warmth and sympathy that can reach out to Kizzy, the Uber driver looking to improve his life style, fleeing from the third world poverty of Togo, West Africa.

His desperate attempt to relinquish the psychological chains of the unforgiven slavery trade, are as fresh today as his forefathers would no doubt have experienced all those years ago.
I am a compassionate man. I am a loving family man too. I have a loving wife who is currently quiet ill, and four wonderful adult children, whom both my wife and myself adore.

I have served our country within the Military and our Security Services with exemption. I have lost a  grandfather in the Great War, who gave his life, for the life myself and my family enjoy today. My mother's two Uncles too, perished and were never recovered, somewhere amongst the blood soaked poppies in Flanders Fields. No doubt, there will be many of my London Cab colleagues who can relate to my pain.
For almost twenty years, I have suffered terribly from the crippling effects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. I have been hospitalised four times and receive constant psychiatric help. For those with experience of this serious condition, I need explain nothing more. For those who do not understand it......don't try to. It is harrowing.

However, there are many London Cabbies who have been hit hard with PTSD, either themselves, or from a close loved one. I know personally of five of our colleagues, who are either receiving help for themselves, or on behalf of a seriously affected family member.

When I experienced my worst memories, PTSD wasn't even recognised ! Neither was Counselling ! You were de-briefed and sent back out onto front line Operational Combat, and told not to be a prick ! I have been beaten, stabbed, burnt, and hung up by my feet. I have had car battery acid put in my eyes and mouth. As a young man, it is water off a duck's back of course. It gets you a bit of barrack room street cred ! And then you get older, and you get scared about a pain that has long since healed. 
Or so you thought !

Today, and as we know, the effects of this serious illness is far more recognised, and fortunately, investment and study are being made to assist the huge amount of sufferers.
For the last two weeks, embarrassingly, I have once again been unable to get out of bed. My depression and cynical state of mind have robbed me of even washing or shaving. My eldest daughter has had to move in with us, God willing, only temporary. She isn't only helping my poor wife, her loving Mum, but I am embarrassed to admit, myself too. Usually a cornerstone of strength, both physical and mentally, when the old black dog strikes, I am utterly useless and a milestone around the neck's of my loving family.

I try to fight it. I think positive, like I have been told to do. I think of good things, not bad, just as the experts have advised me. I honestly do try to help myself. 
And yet..........I am paralysed onto the mattress, like a cocooned fly tangled in the web of an approaching spider. 

Of course, I know it makes sense to get out of the bed. I know I have to move on. I know my wife and family need me. I know my dog's have to be trained. I know I am stinking like a tramp. I know I am intolerable. I know this behaviour is unacceptable. And I know I must break the cycle of past experience depression bouts, before it eventually eats me up and kills me. But I cant !  I cant get out the bed !
Which leads me to my point, which is Kizzy, in Marc's interview, our persecuted Uber driving host , and I quote his words :
“The UK is the mother of democracy; everyone wants to be here for its liberty, tolerance and safety. Uber welcomes migrants and refugees with open arms, allowing us to get a foothold – at least so far as work is concerned and where 'good' English isn't a necessity. Most drivers’ partners have other jobs as it is impossible to make a decent living on Uber unless you work around the clock.”
Kizzy, I genuinely appreciate and share your desires. 
But as you can see, the Democracy, Liberty, Tolerance and Safety that you so badly want to be part of and see in our great country, wasn't granted by default my friend. 

It had to be fought for, from committed, steadfast and brave troops, many, like some of my own family, who never did return, from the poppy laden slaughter fields of Northern France and way beyond.  Even today, and probably more than ever, our UK Military, National Security and Police, put themselves in constant grave positions of peril, to protect and retain the very same legacy and protection, that our loved ones in the past fought tirelessly to preserve. Much blood was lost and spilled, to achieve what you see today.
You are right of course that everyone seems to want to be here. The reasons for such are obvious. However, Democracy, Liberty, Tolerance and Safety in the UK, are a priority of UK Nationals, and sadly, we simply cannot accommodate everyone.

Notwithstanding, the legal rights to pick up travelling passengers on London's streets wasn't given to London Taxi Drivers either. The professional accolade to wear our hard earned badge, also required a hard fight and long winded process to gain too.

It takes years to become proficient enough, professionally trained enough and knowledgeable enough to be able to navigate a fully laden cab around the vast network web of London's streets and roads.
As it would be fool hardy and errant to allow the hard fought legacy of the UK's Democracy, Liberty, Tolerance and Safety to be abused by foreign nationals or home bred haters to destroy, it would be equally as unjustifiable, to allow Uber and TFL to systematically dismantle a legitimate and professionally required platinum service like The London Black Cab, to perish.
Uber have absolutely no damn right, to " welcomes migrants and refugees with open arms, allowing us to get a foothold "
This is London ! Uber are from bloody California ! Who gives them the right to "Welcome "  ANYBODY HERE  " with open arms"
Who the eff do Uber think they are then ? 

How have a techno firm from California been able to make it possible for an open arm welcome to migrants coming into the UK ? Is this a joke ? If not, it must be corruption, surely ? Or are Uber so big that they are now in charge of UK Immigration Control ?
And it is to that end, that although I can sympathise with Uber's Kizzy for his ongoing plight and sleeping in his car, my main concerns are to ensure that the only people who put in.........are the only one's who take something out !
The moral of my post of course, should be clear.    Surely, what a person, a club, a nation, a family, a profession, a company, or a team put in............then they should be the only one's allowed by the rules of the take out........shouldn't they ?
On a more positive note, I managed to get out of my stinking pit of self pity, make believe comfort and safety, yesterday. After a shave, a bath, fish and chips and a cup of tea, I feel at last able to take my post as the husband, Dad, advisor, family provider and family Field Marshall I have always enjoyed being.
Until the next time........................
Be lucky all. Stay safe and during these precarious time particularly...... be vigilant.
8829 Semtex

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Taxi app "Cab:App", To Take On Uber In The UK

A new app that enables users to hail black cabs and licensed taxis has launched in the UK and Ireland in a bid to combat increased competition from car-sharing services such as Uber.

  cabapp (PA)

Cab:app works in a similar fashion to Uber, allowing customers to hail a cab to their current location using an in-app map, but it also lets passengers pre-book journeys and decide before travelling whether to pay by cash or card and track driver location when they are en-route.

Since launching in the UK, services such as Uber have been criticised as being unfair competition, with black cab drivers in London and around Europe accusing the service of side-stepping some licensing rules.

The app was co-founded by London taxi driver Peter Schive, who said: “Cab:app draws on the heritage and expertise of the black cab industry and translates it for the digital world. It connects communities through a business model that is driven by rewards where drivers, passengers and charities all share in its success.”

“Cab:miles” are collected on each journey taken using the service, and these can then be used to pay for future journeys, or their monetary value can be donated to charity. Journey prices are also fixed for travel over eight miles, the firm says.

“Cabs are integral to the transport infrastructure, connecting the community with road, rail and air,” added Mr Schive.

“Cab:app ensures the public can now enjoy the convenience, safety and accessibility associated with the iconic black cab from one national app.

“Black cabbies offer unparalleled local knowledge and service with the assurance that passengers are getting a fully licensed, vetted and insured cab that can use bus lanes and take the most direct route.”

The app has taxi coverage in more than 90 locations around the UK and Ireland, and can be downloaded for free on both iOS and Android-powered smartphones.

Please use this link to get involved and show support for Cab:App : >Click Here<

Artemis & Cher talk to the Gentleman Cabbie about Save Taxi

Artemis & Cher chat to "The Gentleman Cabbie" about how Save Taxi was started and all the great work they've been doing to promote & support the Black Cab trade in London

From Roots, To Routs : By London Taxi Driver Marc Turner.

Alex Hayley’s Roots; Saga of an American family was published in 1976. A year later, ABC TV’s mini-series had a record breaking 130 million viewers in the US and millions more in the UK with its story beginning in 1750 and the birth of Kunta Kinte into a life of slavery. Roots follows his family’s battle against slavery through the years. 

London Cabby Marc Turner, recently spoke to an Uber driver and noted a similarity to that original series. Marc’s story is true. 

Kizzy is a 27 year old male who hails from Togo in West Africa. From the 16th century and for around 200 years, Togo was the trading centre for Europeans searching for slaves to export. It even earned Togo the name of The Slave Coast. Kizzy doesn’t think much has changed and describes his position nowadays as being in 'servitude' to Uber. “That's what it feels like,” he told me recently in the full knowledge that his words would be reproduced in Call Sign. He went on to explain those words...

“The UK is the mother of democracy; everyone wants to be here for its liberty, tolerance and safety. Uber welcomes migrants and refugees with open arms, allowing us to get a foothold – at least so far as work is concerned and where 'good' English isn't a necessity. Most drivers’ partners have other jobs as it is impossible to make a decent living on Uber unless you work around the clock.”

Kizzy often has to sleep in his Prius in order to make his working hours pay. I asked him if he felt exploited? He earnestly replied that it was better to take Uber’s crumbs then to steal from his neighbours! He told me that he rents his car but refused to talk about his insurance status and added that working for Uber was unpredictable, varying between slack and busy.

He said he prefers short rides with their £5 minimum, but dislikes ‘roaders’ because the fares are so cheap and just not economically viable. He tends to call punters with an excuse if a job doesn’t suit him and gets them to can- cel, earning himself a fiver! If they don't cooperate, he will pretend they’re not at the pick- up and scrub it. Contrary to rumour, Uber do allow some rejection of jobs, but if drivers continue to do so they will be deactivated without notice.

Ratings are another pressure. If they drop, drivers get a call enquiring whether they know their way around town. Kizzy admitted to me that he often hung up at Eurostar. When I asked why, he replied honestly that at hourly earnings of around £6 (well below average minimum wage) he had to put himself where the work was.

I asked Kizzy what he thought of licensed taxi drivers? He rather touchingly gestured a bow and then pronounced: “You are the undisputed kings! Taxis are the father, Uber is the baby. If baby gets smacked for continually crying, it will scream louder. Baby needs to be embraced and caressed and taught how to behave properly.” I impressed on him that was TfL’s responsibility and not ours! I was then taken aback by Kizzy’s assertion that young women loved Uber.

“They can't resist the cheapness, despite surge pricing or even feeling scared of the drivers. They all tend to make contact with loved ones as soon as they enter my car because I think they don't trust me! The majority of night customers are young women. Their usage is phenomenal. They may even be the deciding factor in this conflict.”

I had one final question to Kizzy; what were his hopes and predictions for the future? His answer wasn’t one I really wanted to hear: “Uber is dropping prices again to try and attract new passengers from all over London even though it will aggravate ‘partners’ with rising commissions. If we raised our fares and you dropped yours, we could meet somewhere in the middle. We Uber drivers shouldn't be ene- mies with taxi drivers because we have one thing in common – our mutual hatred of Uber.”

At that point Kizzy, genuinely tearful, admit- ted that he didn’t want to be an Uber driver for much longer. He found it to be so stressful due to his not being qualified for the rigours of responding to ‘immediate hire’. In other words, he didn’t know his way around.

At that point, I thanked Kizzy for his time and insight. We parted company – he to yet another night’s sleep in his car followed by another day in Uber bondage. I wouldn’t dream of saying it directly to Kizzy for fear of offending someone who had been honest in his responses, but there was obviously a tenuous link from Alex Haley’s Roots to Kizzy’s lack of Routes and Uber... 

There but for the grace of God go we... and please, don’t blame the messenger!

Another Uber drivers sleeping in his car at McD's car park, Bow interchange.

Seasons Greetings to one and all...

Marc Turner 

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

No End To Night Tube Dispute: Latest pay offer falls short, says union

The delayed Night Tube has suffered another setback with the Rail, Maritime and Transport union saying a revised pay and conditions offer "falls short" of what it wanted.

Last week London Underground said it would recruit part-time staff to cover nightshifts at weekends.

It also offered to extend the three-year pay offer to four years.

But the RMT said reps had reported that the offer did not meet drivers' expectations.

General secretary Mike Cash said the union's executive committee would now consider its next steps.

Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer of London Underground, said the latest offer was "fair and affordable".

"We have listened to union feedback and have made absolute guarantees which mean no existing driver will have to work the Night Tube, unless they choose to do so. Instead we will hire part-time train drivers specifically to run the service.

"We have also been working hard to secure a long-term pay deal in order to provide certainty for our staff and for London, so we have now added a fourth year to the deal."

London Underground workers held strikes in July and August over the impact the proposed 24-hour service at weekends would have on safety issues and their work-life balance

Splyt Rideshare, convicted for operating without a private hire licence

Transport for London (TfL) has taken enforcement activity against an app-based minicab company that was operating illegally without a private hire licence.

Last week TfL successfully prosecuted Splyt Technologies Ltd for breaching the requirement for a London private hire operator's licence.

Splyt, which offered private hire journeys through an app, launched their service in April this year without an operator's licence. TfL believed this to be in breach of legislation and Splyt ceased their operation following correspondence. Earlier this week, Splyt pleaded guilty to the charge.

Splyt were fined £1,750 at Westminster Magistrates' Court, as well as being ordered to pay TfL's claimed costs in full, a further £5,217.50.

The District Judge remarked that it had been a complex case, and that there had been extensive correspondence between TfL and Splyt to try to resolve the matter.

The number of private hire drivers in the Capital has risen rapidly in recent years - there are now 92,049 licenced private hire drivers, up from 76,249 in March 2015. 

This rapid growth has given rise to a number of wider issues, including rising traffic congestion, illegal parking and impacts on air quality. This is why the Mayor is calling for the Government to bring forward primary legislation to give TfL the power to cap minicab numbers.

Editorial Comment:
Most daughters are told by their fathers, one of the most dangerous things you could ever do, is to get into a car with a complete there's an app for it. An app to put you in a car with upto here strangers.

Launching this Friday, UberPool Rideshare. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Your chance to voice your opinions about TfL's consultation on card payments.

TfL recently held a consultation about Credit Card payments in regards to the licensed Taxi trade. Many drivers felt the questions were loaded in favour of an agenda already decided by TfL and decided not to take part. Therefore, only 349 licensed Taxi drivers actually responded to the consultation. 

AskPOB have decided to redress this issue and are carrying out a survey, asking the questions that drivers feel should have been asked in TfL's consultation. 
Please give this survey your full support.

  Dear Driver
Here's your chance to voice your opinions about TfL's consultation on card payments which managed to get just 349 responses. So, please take part today to help create a true reflection of trade opinion.

AskPOB is currently conducting an independent survey to establish driver opinion on card payment solutions and possible changes to taxi tariffs. AskPOB is an impartial third party, working in collaboration with trade organisations and groups to reach as many drivers as possible, and to understand how drivers would like to best use card payment facilities and at what cost.

The last driver consultation conducted by AskPOB yielded over 1,400 responses and delivered a comprehensive voice from the London taxi trade on recent changes at Tavistock Place. 

By completing this survey, AskPOB will once again ensure that London taxi drivers are being heard. 

AskPOB is a free subscribed service giving all drivers a voice.

Please use this link for survey: >Click Here<

Many thanks and be lucky,

Perry Richardson


It's no good just moaning that your representative org isn't doing anything, or they at not listening to your worries. It's no good just talking to other cabbies in shelters or on ranks. 

You have the opportunity of shaping the policy that's made on your behalf by turning up at branch meeting. 

The Shape Of Things To Come? Plus Uber Drivers New Delivery Service.

A young mother has accused an Uber driver of calling her a “black c***” and launching a brutal assault after a row over making multiple drop-offs.

Paramedic Taleka White, 27, says she was dragged out of a minicab and punched twice in the face after her driver flew into a rage in Addiscombe, south London, in the early hours of Sunday.

She says her face smashed into the ground after she was sent flying by the second blow.

The man allegedly called her a “stupid black c***” and a “black b***” during the ordeal at about 3.30am on Sunday morning.

The mother, who has a four-year-old son, is unsure why he became so aggressive, but says he grew angry after some confusion over the destinations.

The women had taken a lift using the minicab app after a night out in Croydon town centre on Saturday and agreed to make separate drops, in the same fashion the proposed UberPool will operate.

She said the driver was polite at first but became rude during the journey when her friend told him he had missed the turning to her house.

He then started to insult Ms White after she continued the journey alone.

Ms White said: “He started to abuse me, saying ‘you stupid black c***, your friend gave me the wrong directions’.

“I sat in the back of the car crying, I wasn’t sure what he was going to do.”

Although frightened, she continued the journey to her mother’s home in Addiscombe – where the driver allegedly became violent.

“He pulled up outside my mum’s and as I was gathering my stuff, he got out and opened the door and dragged me out,” she said.

“As he did this I started wailing and he punched me in my face. 

“I put my hands up and was screaming to get my mum’s attention and he punched me again.

“I went flying down the road and landed on my face. He ran into his car and drove off.”

Ms White was left terrified and injured, with a lump on her head, bruising and a bloodied wrist and knuckles.

She visited A&E on Sunday and needs to return to have an X-ray on her hand.

She called on Uber – which she says has not even refunded the journey – to ban the driver.

“He should not be allowed to work for a cab firm ever again,” she said.

“It’s disgusting – Uber should not be employing someone like that. I just don’t want it to happen to anyone else.”

The matter has been reported to police but Scotland Yard was not yet able comment.

Should be interesting when Uber start their UberPool service when their drivers will be expected to pick up, upto 4 separate, unrelated passenger. 

Not only could you be getting into a car driven by a stranger....would could be sitting next to 3 other strangers on rout.

Meanwhile News Of Uber Driver's New Deliver Service:

Mini-Cab driver Waseem Anwar Choudry, 31, of Chichester Court, Slough gave his wife eight dresses to bring back from Pakistan, which unbeknown to her had 3.5 kilogs of the class A drug – worth almost half a million pounds – sewn inside.

Border Force officers found the drugs in Nazreen Anwar’s bag after she stepped off a flight from Islamabad on June 28, and she was arrested.

In interviews with National Crime Agency investigators the 28-year-old said she had been in Pakistan for a two week holiday, and claimed her husband had given her the dresses to bring back, saying she did not know the drugs were inside.

Choudry had been due to fly back a few days after his wife but did not board the plane, and he was arrested by the National Crime Agency six weeks later attempting to re-enter the country at St Pancras International rail terminal, having travelled from Pakistan via Paris.

A must watch video on Uber's new service