Uber has lost its license to operate in London

Uber has lost its license to operate in London, dealing a massive blow to the beleaguered-yet-hugely-popular taxi hailing app company.

The company's current license to operate in the British capital expires on 30 September. Its drivers can operate until that date, but has only 21 days to appeal the ruling.

Transport for London said that the company was not a "fit and proper" operator in its ruling, stating that “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility", particularly in policing its drivers.

Thousands of drivers in limbo

Uber has more than 40,000 drivers on its books in London, with 3.5 million Londoners using the app to hire cars. 

While it's been praised for its ease of use, GPS-based pick-ups and affordable fares, Uber has regularly faced criticism from London's traditional black cab services, who argue that Uber's financial practices and lack of regulation prevent a fair competitive market. 

Uber has danced with controversy around the globe many times prior to today's ruling. Globally, Uber's driver hiring practices negate some of the licence requirements that other operators have to deal with, while allegations of rape and assault against its drivers are common. At a board level, it's former CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted following claims he fostered a negative workplace culture where sexual harassment was commonplace.

Today's ruling, in a one of the world's leading capital cities, will set a troubling precedent for the company, with other territories in which it faces opposition now likely buoyed to take firmer action against Uber.

This is a breaking story. We will update as new details emerge.

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