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Lily Allen Claims London Cabbie Branded Her A 'Stupid Tart' Over Child Refugee Row

Singer says driver told her to find an 'immigrant' driver.

28/10/2016 14:45 | Updated 28 October 2016
BBC Victoria Derbyshire
Lily Allen has faced reprisals since filming her 'apology on behalf of Britain'

Lily Allen has claimed a London taxi driver branded her a “stupid tart” over her intervention in the row over child refugees, and told the singer to find an “immigrant” to drive her around instead.

In a post on Twitter, Allen said she was accosted by one of London’s Black Cab drivers when she tried to hail a taxi with her children. 

She alleged the cabbie refused them entry into his car after her supportive stance on vulnerable minors trapped in Calais. 

Allen said she was told by the cabbie on Friday: “Find an immigrant to drive you, you stupid tart.”

The singer made a video earlier this month from the French migrant camp known as ‘The Jungle’ in which she apologised “on behalf of Britain” when she met an Afghan boy trapped there. 

Allen, 31, has faced a media barrage from newspapers who branded her a “sobbing luvvie” and suggested she was spoilt.  

Challenged by a user on Twitter to provide evidence with the cabbie’s registered taxi number and licence plate, Allen hit back that she had “both my hands full with children” and could not reach for her phone to record either.

Allen said after the incident that it had given her a “tiny glimpse of what it feels like to be discriminated against”. 

She also called on her more than five million Twitter followers to “take our country back” and “stamp out this stupid, horrible ignorance together”. 

Commenting Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) said: “The LTDA represents 11,000 black cab drivers – about half of those in London.

“Whilst it is not clear whether the driver in question was an LTDA member, we take any allegation such as this extremely seriously and would condemn any cabbie who treats anyone with such disrespect and uses abusive language in this way.

“The driver in question has put their license in jeopardy with this appalling behaviour, and we would urge TfL as the regulator for our industry to undertake an investigation.”

Allen has spoken out since her video from Calais moved and angered many. She admitted in an LBC interview that she “could have chosen my words better” and instead apologised for her country’s role in the global crisis. 

She said of the negative reaction to her comments: ”What they seem to have picked up on is I apologised on behalf of the nation, but it was an emotional moment I was affected by.

“Perhaps I could have chosen my words better and said: ‘I apologise for the part the country I come from has played in the situation you’re currently experiencing’ - but that was what I said and has been picked up on.

She added: “It is being used to support the xenophobic rhetoric and narrative that we are currently experiencing, especially in the mainstream press.”

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