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David Cameron may have lobbied for Uber while PM, says report

While he was UK prime minister, Cameron may have lobbied London's Mayor on behalf of the ride-hailing service, says the Daily Mail.

David Cameron (right) and Boris Johnson.

David Cameron (right) and Boris Johnson.

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

There's no such thing as bad publicity, goes the old saying. Uber might disagree.

Lately the ride-hailing company has come under fire for everything from allegedly tolerating a culture of sexual harassment to CEO Travis Kalanick fighting with an Uber driver over compensation and declining fares.

Now Uber is in the middle of what appears to be a UK lobbying scandal. According to the Daily Mail, the office of then-Prime Minister David Cameron lobbied on behalf of the ride-hailing service in London in 2015.

The reported lobbying occurred as drivers of London's black cabs were protesting Uber's desire expand in the city. Initially, London Mayor Boris Johnson supported the taxi industry but he later backed off.

According to the Mail, emails and other documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that a Cameron aide pushed Johnson to stop attacking Uber. The lobbying had Cameron's support, the paper reported.

Uber says it had support throughout London in 2015.

"More than 200,000 Londoners signed a petition in autumn 2015 against plans for things like five minute minimum waiting times," an Uber spokesman said, referring to a new regulation. "[Such plans] were also condemned by consumer groups, the media, and even the Competition and Markets Authority."

Downing Street and the London Mayor's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.