Thank you all for taking a few minutes to read about Sean Stockings and the appalling treatment he has suffered at the hand of TfL and Leon Daniels in particular. Sean is a Licensed Taxi Driver with a young family and a super kind heart. Sean cares. Sean cares about bus and tram crashes and Sean cares about pedestrians being run over. Sean cares about how TFL are dealing with Uber (and driverless cars! Yikes!) and over ranking at bus stops and the free for all Wild West mentality on London’s Streets. Sean is just like you, he is proud of his job and what it stands for.
Sean has had his license revoked… this didn’t happen immediately, only when TfL failed to provide proper disclosure forcing Sean’s legal representative to send a letter before action on Sean’s behalf… this is why The LCDC, are fighting hard to ensure that Sean does not lose his badge…
If Sean had done anything wrong, we would not be asking for your help – so what did Sean do?
On the 17th November 2016 whilst walking to a personal engagement Sean Stockings happened upon Leon Daniel’s, Mike Brown, Vernon Everitt (and others) out for the evening celebrating who knows what on the Eve of the Ladbroke Grove Bus Crash (when 14 people were injured, some seriously) just over a week after the most deadliest Tram Crash in UK since 1917 (7 fatalities and 58 persons injured). The glasses & plates on the outside table on a Mayfair Street suggesting that they had been drinking fine wine and eating good wine – perhaps an outside table chosen so these businessmen could smoke expensive cigars (looking for all the world to be enjoying their expense accounts in the type of posh restaurants that cab drivers cannot afford).
Sean couldn’t understand why TfL with its track record would be celebrating that night, instead of visiting the injured and offering apologises. Sean would be the first to accept that approaching them hasn’t turned out to be his best idea ever – but what exactly did he do? Many of you have seen the video and are surprised that TfL have come down so harshly on Sean when all he did was take the opportunity to ask Leon Daniels about his track record. Yes he was emphatic but sometimes you need to be when you are trying to get answers to important questions. As Mike Brown looked down and Leon Daniels smirked; Sean asked the type of questions you might also have liked to ask these people who many feel have for the last 5 years slowly but surely destroyed the Trade, putting travelling Londoners at risk from sexual assault and weapons. Sean who had recorded the engagement hoping for an exclusive for The Badge; had nothing to write about – as the silence had been deafening – thought Leon’s grin was in itself newsworthy so he uploaded the clip to his twitter feed…
What happened next – well within a month he had had his license revoked pending an investigation. How did they find Sean Stockings??? – rumours abound! We don’t know because when TfL were asked for disclosure of the case against Sean, very few questions were answered and this was not one of them…
Many have seen this clip and noted that no abusive language was used… so what had caused such offence? Who had determined Sean was not fit and why? Whilst still awaiting disclosure TfL tried to get the police involved – the police refused to arrest Sean (as he had committed NO offence). Then, whilst still awaiting disclosure, a “thorough” investigation took place (with no input from Sean) and his badge was permanently revoked. Later still a demand to return his badge and identifiers and for the last 3 months Sean has been unable to work.
We, the LCDC, are seeking permission to Judicially Review the decision to revoke Sean’s license – this isn’t a major organisation, it is just the passionate London Cab Drivers Club who charge less than 50p per day. We want to take TfL to the High Court and not worry about the cost implications – we want to be able to help Swan with his day to day living expenses whilst this drags on. Taking TFL to the highest Court is like poker – the stakes are high and the costs are higher – we are asking that the High Court intervene and as expected TfL will fight this all the way.
Leon Daniels is in charge of revocation of licenses and he chose, we say as required by statute, the person who ultimately would make the decision to take Sean’s license – Peter Blake. Peter Blake had never been asked to make such a decision before… The Badge, our newspaper has printed the letters and we invite you to look at the language used by Peter Blake. Does he seem fair and impartial to you? We only have one determination letter as Peter Blake refused to provide reasons for his interim decision… it is strange that he could have made the initial determination bearing in mind when that was made Leon Daniels hadn’t even given a written account. These are some of the words used in that letter:
“intentionally confronted” “TfL staff member” “private restaurant” “clearly demonstrates a failure to respect a person’s right to privacy” (no such right of privacy exists!) “unprofessional and inappropriate” “risk that data protection laws MAY be breached” (They haven’t!). Peter Blake then chose to mention matters entirely unconnected with Sean: “highlighted there were allegations of corruptions and threats of violence towards him and other individuals” (but not by Sean!) “comments on social media” (not by Sean!) we then had reference to tweets that Sean had sent (whilst simultaneously accepting that they “do not warrant licensing action”) “derogatory in nature and show a contempt towards the Licensing Authority which I find unacceptable”
Finally finding that “intimidating and threatening behaviour against any member of the public cannot be tolerated” – we agree with the statement that such behaviour couldn’t be tolerated but suggesting that Sean was intimidating and threatening and that Leon Daniels was just a member of the public is very wide of the mark!
So we are asking you to please help Sean and in turn help us to help you – we don’t want a Licensing Authority who think they can take our badges away on a whim – who don’t even think they need bother disclosing their case against a driver… What happened to the old adage “Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done”.
Whilst we need to ensure that the ultimate sanction is only used when the matter is really serious and whilst we want a Licensing Authority who will go as hard against Uber – as hard as they have against Sean. We need to join together because if we let TfL get away with punishing Sean for tweeting we will all be scared to ever speak against TfL again. This is serious folks and it could happen to any one of us. Please support The LCDC support Sean and black cab drivers everywhere. We would like you to dig deep and ask that you do so.
We have allowed TfL to get away with too much and we need to fight this. This money will be used to support Sean and to fight Sean’s case.
There is much more to Sean’s story and the involvement of others at TFL, that we simply do not have room here to fully explain in greater detail.
Please support Sean in this difficult time for him, his partner and young family.
The London Cab Drivers Club