Transport for London says Uber was not "fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license". File photo

London -  London's transport authority says it won't renew Uber's license to operate in the British capital, arguing that it demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility with implications in public safety and security.

Transport for London says the car-hailing app was not "fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license". 

It cited its approach to handling serious criminal offenses and its use of software to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app, preventing "officials from undertaking regulator or law enforcement duties."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he supported Friday's decision, saying any operator of taxi services in the city "needs to play by the rules."

He says that "providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security."

Uber said it would challenge the decision.

"Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice," Uber said in a statement. "We intend to immediately challenge this in the courts." 

Transport for London said Uber, whose licence expires on September 30, would be allowed to continue to operate while the appeals process was exhausted.

AP and Reuters