It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Sir David. I congratulate my hon. Friend Daniel Zeichner on securing this important debate, and on the work he has been doing on the licensing of taxi and private hire vehicles. With his private Member’s Bill, he has shown more initiative than the Government to ensure that we legislate in this Parliament to require taxi and private hire vehicle licensing authorities in England to share information with other local authorities, to prevent unsuitable people from being granted licences. I should say that in our manifesto at the general election last year, the Labour party pledged that we would reform the legislation governing taxi and private hire services, introducing national standards to guarantee safety and accessibility.
I thank Mr Hayes, who instigated the task and finish group’s report, and I hope his colleagues on the Government Benches will now act on it. While we welcome the many recommendations in the report and the work of Professor Abdel-Haq, it is frustrating that the Government have so far failed to legislate during their eight years in power, despite the calls from Labour and other Opposition parties, trade unions and campaigners.