Thursday, September 07, 2017

Sadiq Khan Linked To Uber ? : Mayor's Night Time Commissioner "Has Conflict Of Interest" Over Uber Case

LBC has discovered that Sadiq Khan's Night Time Commissioner is representing three Uber drivers in a court case.

Pre-eminent barrister Philip Kolvin QC was appointed by the Mayor of London last December and advises on the project to make London a 24-hour city, bringing together pubs, nightclubs, the police and transport - including Uber.

But it now appears there could be a conflict of interest in Mr Kolvin’s role as Night Time Commissioner because he is representing Uber drivers in court, with those drivers are having their legal costs met by Uber.

Conservative MP and former Transport Minister Theresa Villiers says the London Mayor now needs to review the appointment. She told LBC: "I have concerns about what I've heard bout Philip Kolvin's involvement in defending Uber drivers in court.

"He's got a perfect right to do that, but I do worry that this gives him a conflict of interest regarding his role on the Mayor's Night Time Commission.

"I think the Mayor needs to look at the situation. I'm not sure it's really credible for Mr Kolvin to continue with these cases if he's going to continue with his role as Commissioner."

LBC's Political Editor Theo Usherwood explains: "My initial focus was on the Berkshire town of Reading. That's because in March last year, its council refused to grant Uber an operator's licence on the grounds it wouldn't guarantee having an office in the town staffed on a daily basis.

"As a result, Uber launched the Reading Reward Zone - promising the first 150 drivers to cover the town between £15 and £25 per hour. That led in June to council officers catching two men, who pleaded guilty and were fined £500.

"But now another two Uber drivers are being prosecuted by the council. One of the men is due to go to trial in November. Both are represented by Mr Kolvin QC.

"He is described by the Legal 500 as the “standard-bearer” when it comes to licensing, and I’ve been told by other barristers his fees will run into the thousands of pounds for a day’s work. My source at Uber has told me that they’re paying their drivers’ legal fees in this case.

"To be clear - Nobody is calling into question Mr Kolvin’s professionalism as a barrister.

"But the appearance of a conflict of interest centres on his role as chairman of the Night Time Commission."

Keith Prince, the Conservative chairman of the Greater London Authority’s Transport Committee told me that because Uber has more cars on the road than any other minicab company, it would inevitably have an interest in the Night Time Commission’s work.

He said: "Is this the right position to have where you have someone who will, in his role as Night Time Commissioner, be looking at contracts across London and looking at how the night-time economy works.

"No one can deny that Uber has an interest in how the night-time economy work."

Mayor's office insists there is no conflict.

A spokesman for Mr Khan told LBC that Mr Kolvin has declared all of his interests with the GLA and provided advance notice about the impending case between the Uber driver and the LTDA. As a result the GLA's monitoring office has also reviewed the issue and concluded there is no conflict.

The spokesman also said the Commission had no decision making powers. In reference to the Bexleyheath hearing, the spokesman added: "Philip stands by his undertaking not to carry out any work for Uber in the capital and that is not breached by acting for this individual.

"There is no conflict of interest in acting for a London citizen in a taxi licensing prosecution and chairing a Commission advising on the future of the night time economy in London." 

Uber's licence to operate in London is up for renewal at the end of this month. Transport for London will make the decision on allowing them to continue. If it doesn't, Uber faces a lengthy legal battle to stay in business in the capital.

Source LBC. 


Anonymous said...

The Stench of implicit cooperation by stealth and subterfuge by a mayoral appointee is no longer the issue because it now of public record ....very clever,....and having a professional right as a legal counsel to defend uber drivers is not in any way contradictory to holding a job of impartiality....yeh right...but completely fraudulent.

All day long I have heard virtually every news channel spout argument and counter argument regarding the will tfl or wont tfl re-license uber without any real testosterone from the taxi lobby, but the singular argument from most of the Uber backed favoured opinions is.... "they are cheap"...

London and the rest of the UK Licensing authorities can go to hell in a hand cart, the big corporations clearly can strip every valuable asset and commodity we own and use cheap imported labour to underpin their greed of control, And whilst government bodies argues how uber drivers have employee status the same Government nevertheless pays huge amounts of subsidence and gives financial support at tax payers expense to directly and unfairly bolster uber's platform of service.

Therefore stating "tfl prevents us from direct competition by controlling our meters" without a direct correlation to the benefits which undeniably support the cheapest of cheapest and lowest of the lowest blankest brained drivers uber clearly attracts is plainly deceptive.

There is bound to be an out and out tirade of demonstration in London to the likes never seen before if TFL re-licenses Uber remembering that TFL is (the clue is in the name) a London licensing authority and not a uk wide authority it has self promoted its self to be, how or why other far reaching UK regions, towns or cities which are suffering TFL license intrusions is clear uncontrolled criminality which must be directly stopped by central government (department of transport) as all surface transport is regionally governed with exception of cash rich corrupted authorities who have abandoned moral duty or obligation for corrupted licensing revenue destined to other licensee territories.

Be ready for any action ahead as the slipperiest of slipperiest dealings are currently being discussed .... and liabilities are undoubtedly top of the agendas to limit personal blame....nothing worthwhile comes for free which is why we did the knowledge... anything else is a gift.

Keep up the fight


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