Uber begins appeal to retain its London licence

Uber will appear in a London court today to prove that it is “fit and proper” to hold an operator licence in the capital.

The ride hailing app claims that it has made “significant changes” since Transport for London refused to renew Uber’s licence in September on grounds of public safety and security. The business has been allowed to carry on operating in London while awaiting to appeal.

During the intervening nine months Uber has changed the way it reports crimes, going to directly to the police rather than logging criminal complains with Transport for London. Drivers are now only allowed to use the app in the region they hold a private hire licence and their working hours are being more tightly regulated.

The hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court is expected to last several days.

Investors bet against WPP after Sorrell departure

WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell

Hedge fund investors have allegedly made a £1bn bet against advertising giant WPP following the departure of its founder Sir Martin Sorrell in April.

According to reports in The Times, the percentage of WPP shares on loan, which is a proxy for short selling on the financial markets, has surged over the past year from close to zero to more than 6% of its share capital, according to figures from IHS Markit.

These are turbulent times for the world’s biggest advertising group, which earlier this month saw a third of shareholders refuse to back its pay and bonus scheme, which would guarantee Sir Martin Sorrell a £20m pay out. Furthermore 17% did not support the re-election of chairman Roberto Quarta.

Speaking at Cannes Lions last week, Sorrell “strenuously denied” claims that he had misappropriated WPP funds, claiming that his situation within the company had become “untenable”, due to “leaks” at the “highest levels”.

Of his new venture S4 Capital, Sorrell described it as a “peanut” compared to the giant holding companies, but that it would approach business “totally from a digital angle”.

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