UK

Katie Hopkins Backs London Black Cabbies In Protest Against Uber

11/06/2014 12:18 BST | Updated 11/06/2014 16:59 BST
Ian West/PA Archive
Apprentice star Katie Hopkins attends a photocall to launch the Freeview Playback Wimbledon Simulator on the South Bank in central London.

As London prepares for gridlock today due to 10,000 black cabs protesting against the mobile app Uber, Katie Hopkins has stepped in to lend her support.

Writing on Twitter, the former Apprentice contestant railed at the "not efficient" cab app, saying: "Take away the sat nav and you have an idiot behind the wheel."

Hopkins went on to make her stance clearer in the debate on Uber's effect on London's black cabs, writing: "Black Cabs are the capitals 2nd police force. If ever I am in trouble, it is a black cabbie that saves the day".

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Taxi drivers cause travel chaos

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, representing London's black cabs, has helped to organise a protest which promises “severe chaos, congestion and confusion across the metropolis”.

The LTDA argues that Uber, through which customers can book and track vehicles, acts like a taxi meter, which private cars are not allowed to use and has warned that the move is leading to unlicensed drivers being contacted via the new technology, with no checks on whether they are legitimate.

Taxi drivers cause travel chaos

Days before the protest, Hopkins wrote another message urging Transport for London to "stand up for our fab Black cabs".

And now today, Hopkins has rounded off her campaign with a call for women to come out in support for London's black cabs. "Bikini's and black cabs at Trafalgar Square," she wrote. "I will not be in swim wear - thank the lord."

Speaking to the BBC, Uber’s UK general manger Jo Bertram said there was “room for black cabs and private hire cars to co-exist in London.”

She added: "We are open to discussions with black-cab drivers, unfortunately today's demonstration disadvantages Londoners and it closes down discussion."