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Sadiq Khan on Uber’s victory: “You must play by the rules”

Sadiq Khan has warned that Uber “must play by the rules”, after the ride-hailing service overturned a ban on its operations in the capital this afternoon.

In a tweet posted shortly after Westminster Magistrates court ruled that the company was fit and proper to hold a licence in London, the Mayor of London emphasised that it would be closely monitored by TfL over the next 15 months.

“No matter how big or powerful you are, you must play by the rules – especially when it comes to the safety of Londoners,” Khan tweeted. “Uber has been granted a 15-month licence to operate in London – but with a clear set of conditions that TfL will closely monitor and enforce.”

Uber failed to renew its licence last September after TfL accused the company of demonstrating a lack of corporate social responsibility. It was allowed to carry on operating during the appeals process. Following a two-day hearing, Westminster’s chief magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, said on Tuesday afternoon that the company had reformed its practices since its licence expired last September.

The company’s UK manager, Tom Elvidge, had admitted during the course of the hearing that TfL had been right not to renew its licence last year. But the firm’s lawyers said that the company had passed TfL’s three latest inspections and now deserved the right to carry on operating in the capital.

During the hearing, TfL noted that Uber had previously failed to report all alleged crimes to the police. Its lawyers argued that the firm should be granted a shorter licence than the five year term it had initially applied for.

“We are pleased with today’s decision,” said Uber’s Tom Elvidge in a statement. “We will continue to work with TfL to address their concerns and earn their trust, while providing the best possible service for our customers.”

Uber will pay TfL legal costs amounting to £425,000.