UBER secretly lobbied ministers in order to influence London’s transport policy, it has been reported. 

Leaked documents show lobbyists for the ride-sharing app company met with then-chancellor George Osborne along with other ministers, according to the BBC.

The “undeclared” meetings took place after Boris Johnson, who was mayor of London at the time, had promised to launch a review that had the potential to limit Uber’s expansion in the city.

A spokesman for Osborne said “all business meetings where policy affecting individual companies were discusses were properly declared”. 

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The meeting with Uber took place at a private dinner in the US state of California, where the company is based. 

An internal email stated that this was a better spot to meet than London because “this is a much more private affair with no hanger-on officials or staffers”, the BBC reported. 

Other meetings were also held between Uber lobbyists and current or former ministers including Priti Patel, Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Michael Gove, according to the corporation. 

Johnson ultimately abandoned his review and Uber was able to increase its number of drivers in London. 

An Uber spokeswoman said: “Engaging with policymakers is standard practice for businesses, and Uber fulfils all of its obligations to disclose its lobbying when required to do so.”

Ministers insist rules were followed, the BBC said. 

Osborne’s spokesman said: “The premise of this investigation is wrong.

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“Far from being secret, it was the explicit and publicly-announced policy of the coalition government to meet with global tech businesses, persuade them to invest in Britain and create jobs here.

“It was a policy that made the UK the tech capital of Europe.

“All business meetings where policy affecting individual companies was discussed were properly declared – something no previous administration did.

“While the government inherited from its predecessors a tax code that meant the tech companies paid little tax, it was George Osborne as chancellor who – with Germany – initiated the international OECD negotiations to change that, a process which led to the widely welcomed global agreement last year.”

In October last year, some 136 countries and jurisdictions agreed to impose a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% by 2023.

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The Uber files were leaked to the Guardian and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and several media organisations, including BBC Panorama.

They reportedly also show extensive lobbying of other European politicians, including French President Emmanuel Macron in August 2014 when he was minister for the economy, and ex-EU commissioner Neelie Kroes.