London cabbies are planning to demonstrate outside the Evening Standard's offices this morning, on George Osborne's first day as the newspaper's editor.
Taxi drivers will protest from 10am over "fears that the paper could lose its independence and status as the 'voice of London' under his leadership", the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) said today.
Osborne was revealed as the Standard's new editor in March. Initially, he said he would continue as MP for the Tatton constituency, and told the House of Commons: "In my view, this parliament is enhanced when we have people of different experience take part in our robust debate." However, Osborne has since quit parliament.
The LTDA cited recent media allegations that Osborne lobbied on behalf of Uber when he was chancellor, giving the ride-hailing app "inappropriate influence over the development of private hire licensing regulations in London".
Steve McNamara, the LTDA's genera secretary, also pointed to Osborne's role at BlackRock, "a firm that has invested millions of pounds in Uber - a £50bn company that paid just £400,000 in tax in the UK last year".
"This lack of transparency means taxi drivers fear for the Evening Standard's future as the impartial voice of London with George Osborne as editor," McNamara said.
Twitter users posted photos from the protest:
Taxi drivers protest outside Evening Standard offices on George Osborne's first day at work pic.twitter.com/IxUfwWrwoN— Will Worley (@willrworley) May 2, 2017
London's cab drivers mark Osborne's first day at the Standard with protest outside the office pic.twitter.com/KXdoXSQTaI— Amol Rajan (@amolrajanBBC) May 2, 2017