Yes! Really! The Duke of Edinburgh drove a taxi. The man who loved driv- ing, was rich, and had access to the most luxurious vehicles in the world chose a simple, basic, low-cost taxi as his daily driver. And Regit reports that this was not a passing fancy or novelty. He kept the car for almost two decades. Prince Philip’s Metrocab had a special skill that made it more preferable than a Rolls-Royce, Bentley, or Aston Martin. It blended in. It was anonymous. It was just another vehicle. That must have been comforting for a man who lived in the spotlight. The Duke could there-

fore travel without being constantly seen, judged, and pictured. The taxi probably gave him some sense of a ‘normal life’. The Duke also had the benefit of any doubt if he was spotted. In other

words, people likely thought: “Hey, that man looks like Prince Philip” rather than ‘that is Prince Philip’. Who, after all, expected to see him driving a taxi? His bespoke metrocab ran on liquefied petroleum gas rather than diesel, had dark green paintwork and was retired to the Sandringham Museum in 2017. Royal Historian, Hugo Vickers, once shared: “I believe someone has seen a taxi, tapped on the window, and asked the so-called taxi driver for directions. You could see that someone wander- ing off, scratching his head, and wondering if he had really seen the Duke in a taxi.”


The lawyer investigating David Cameron’s lobbying on behalf of loans firm Greensill has been urged to widen his probe to cover the former PM’s role in torpedoing proposed curbs on Uber. According to the MailOnline, Steve McNamara, head of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, has asked Nigel Boardman to expand his inquiry to include Mr Cameron’s ‘undue influence’ as Prime Minister. Four years ago, an investigation by the Daily Mail claimed Mr Cameron and the then Chancellor George Osborne told aides to lobby Boris Johnson, who was London Mayor at the time, against pro- posed curbs on Uber. In September 2015, Mr Johnson said TfL was considering 25 measures, including making Uber and other pri- vate hire firms wait at least five minutes between taking a booking and picking up a customer. It was hoped this would curb the proliferation of minicabs, but the Mayor and his aides began receiv- ing angry messages from Downing Street and ‘forthright texts’ from Mr

MAY 2021

Cameron and Mr Osborne. At the time, Mr Cameron had close per- sonal relationships with Rachel Whetstone, Uber’s then senior vice- president of policy and com- munications, and her husband Steve Hilton, who was his director of strategy from 2010 to 2012. Daniel Korski, deputy head of Cameron’s policy unit, led secret crisis talks between Ministers and the Mayor and his staff. In January 2016, the Mayor decided to drop almost all the curbs Uber disliked. In his letter to Mr Boardman, Mr McNa- mara wrote: “The unprecedented interventions… included direct text messages believed to have been sent by Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne to the Mayor, as well as Number 10 officials, special advisers and Cabinet Ministers… dispatched to send a clear message that the proposed changes were unwelcome – even reportedly shouting at City Hall officials.” He claimed the lobbying by Mr Cameron, Mr Osborne and other No 10

officials amounted to an ‘embrace of Uber’ and an effort ‘to protect its posi- tion in the market’. In March 2017, Downing Street was accused of a cover-up for failing to divulge details of the lobbying opera- tion following a Freedom of Information request. Emails between Mr Korski and the Mayor’s staff were released by TfL. The ICO investigated, but The Mail on Sunday has revealed that the Govern- ment was cleared due to Cabinet Office rules that let officials destroy ‘trivial information’, including emails, within three months. Caroline Pidgeon, a Liberal Democrat London Assembly member, also wants the inquiry to be broadened beyond Mr Cameron’s lobbying for Greensill Capi- tal to issue Government-backed loans to firms during the pandemic. She said it had to ‘address the lax lobbying culture.’ Greensill adviser Mr Cameron stood to make a fortune if it floated, but it collapsed in March.


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