May says Uber's London ban 'disproportionate'

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Theresa May has said the decision not to renew Uber's London licence is disproportionate, and accused the mayor, Sadiq Khan, of putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The online transport company plans to appeal after its renewal application was rejected last Friday on the grounds of "public safety and security".

"I want to see a level playing field".

"I want to see a level playing field".

A petition calling on London to overturn its decision not to renew Uber's license had gathered more than 800,000 signatures by Thursday evening.

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"I think a blanket ban is disproportionate", May said in a series of BBC interviews leading up to the Conservative party conference starting Sunday.

Regulator Transport for London (TfL) last Friday deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and decided not to renew its licence to operate when it expires on September 30, citing the firm's approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

Uber enables users to book cars using their smartphones and is available in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK. "The position of drivers who use the App is materially identical to the (familiar and long-established) position of self-employed private hire drivers who operate under the auspices of traditional minicab firms", Uber had said in its court submission.

"Uber's a transportation services company marketing itself to customers as giving a uniform experience and pricing of what it means "to take an Uber, '" the General Secretary of the Independent Workers" Union of Great Britain, which is representing the drivers, Jason Moyer-Lee told Reuters.

'Regulation is there for a reason and it would have been wrong for TfL to have renewed Uber's licence if they had concerns about Uber being a fit and proper operator.

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