Author and Guardian columnist Owen Jones has accused a London cabbie of nearly knocking him off his bike while using his phone at the wheel. Jones says the cabbie then screamed "I fucking love it when you cyclists die" at him.
Jones, the author of Chavs: The Demonisation of the Working Class and The Establishment – And How They Get Away With It, tweeted a picture of the cabbie in question on Wednesday.
This taxi driver nearly knocked me off my bike while on his phone and screamed "I fucking love it when you cyclists die." pic.twitter.com/6x5eoEe6i5
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) November 2, 2016
According to Jones, the cabbie then said: "Go and play with some fucking traffic lights for all I care," and when told that Jones planned to put this on Twitter, added: "Good, I'll smile for the camera."
Jones said the driver “exploded” at him after he had gestured to him to get off his phone.
Jones has since been tweeted by Transport for London’s Taxi and Private Hire account, which said: “Hi Owen – sorry to hear about this – we hope you're ok. I've sent your tweets to our complaints team. If you have more information about this incident (e.g. date, time and location) please DM it to us and we can add it to the report.”
The account subsequently stated: “We are concerned to learn of this incident & the alleged conduct of a licensed taxi driver. We have contacted Mr Jones and have launched an investigation into this incident.”
While some questioned Jones’ account, others leapt to his defence, including Jeremy Vine.
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) November 2, 2016
Jones himself seemed keen to deflect accusations that he had an issue with cabbies in general.
Just to make it clear: I totally support cabbies, one bad cabbie isn't representative of all cabbies, most cabbies are good decent people.
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) November 3, 2016
Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association told the London Evening Standard:
“It is not yet clear whether the driver in question was an LTDA member, and without a badge number we can not determine this.
"However, we would condemn such shocking and reckless behaviour – by any cabbie – for putting himself and other road users at risk. The driver in question has put their license in jeopardy and we would urge TfL as the regulator for our industry to undertake an investigation.”