Ubers Defence Lawyer Quits As ‘24-hour London’ Commissioner

A lawyer appointed by Sadiq Khan to help save London’s 24-hour economy has stepped down, accusing City Hall of failing to deliver on its promises.

Philip Kolvin QC, a licensing specialist credited with saving Fabric nightclub, claimed the Mayor’s team had not given his Night Time Commission the independence it required.

He also said City Hall had failed to publicise the body’s work or provide sufficient administrative support. In a letter to members of the commission, Mr Kolvin said that as a result he had “no option” but to leave the role. His contract ended this week but he has decided not to carry on.

Mr Kolvin’s departure will come as a blow to the Mayor, who appointed him just over a year ago to help deliver his vision of a 24-hour London. City Hall said the work of the commission would carry on. The post was created after the Mayor’s night czar, Amy Lamé, was criticised for her lack of business experience.

The commission was tasked with consulting Londoners on how to make the capital better for all at night. It was supposed to report back later this year with recommendations.

“I regret that I cannot allow my professional independence to be compromised. Nor can I serve on a commission which lacks independence,” he said.

Administrative support from City Hall had been “found wanting” and it “remains unclear” whether the mayoralty would meet reasonable requests in future, which would “frustrate” the body’s progress. “Minimal” work had been done on building public awareness, which was key to the commission’s success, and he had “insufficient assurance” this would change. 

Tory London Assembly member Susan Hall said: “Sadiq Khan has been more interested in gimmicks and cheap headlines than in genuinely delivering an improvement for Londoners.”

City Hall said: “Philip Kolvin QC was appointed chair of the Night Time Commission on a 12-month contract. Over the past year the commission has made great progress under Philip’s leadership. The important work of the commission will continue and a new chair will be appointed in due course.”

No one is irreplaceable. 

Was Phillip just a poor choice by Mayor Khan, or could there be other reasons for his sudden departure?

It hasn’t gone unnoticed that Mr Kolvin has spent quite a bit of time defending Uber on licensing hearings and also defending their drivers from prosecution. 

Perhaps it was better for him to stand down as he obviously has a conflict of interest after being in the employ of Uber. 

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