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'The driver is less valuable than the food they carry'

Jeremy Corbyn speaks out on vulnerability of gig economy workers after Deliveroo and UberEats driver is killed

Will Stone reports from Finsbury Park

JEREMY CORBYN and delivery drivers have demanded an end to the gig economy after a moped rider was stabbed to death in London.

The Labour leader visited the scene of the knife attack in Finsbury Park where a 30-year-old man named locally as Taki Dine was killed on Friday night.

Friends and fellow moped riders told the Star he was Algerian and worked for Deliveroo and UberEats as a delivery driver.

Speaking at the scene yesterday, Mr Corbyn, whose Islington North constituency includes Finsbury Park, said: “People should not be carrying knives. A human life has been taken.

“There are a lot of people working as delivery drivers, they must have better conditions of employment and employers must take more responsibility for their safety too.

“Police cuts have meant fewer officers on the streets, and this raises issues of safety in the community in general.”

He added: “Delivery drivers do a great job in London all of the time. Yet they are vulnerable. They’re often on zero-hours contracts, yet the food they are carrying is insured.

“So the delivery driver is less valuable than the food they are carrying.”

Deliveroo and Uber driver Zakaria Gherabi, 37, who knew the victim, said he had been attacked last October and left with a dislocated eye socket.

Mr Gherabi told the Star: “My attackers are still on the streets. The police do nothing.

“It happens. Nobody is going to save you. The company does not care, we are self-employed, but the food we are carrying is insured.”

Fellow delivery drivers attended the scene alongside members of the Motorcycle Action Group to lay a floral tribute.

A note left with the flowers read: “Sympathy for your family. We will continue the fight for justice. Your fellow riders.”

One rider, Sourin Aydi, said Mr Dine was his “best friend” and added: “I can’t believe it, I did not sleep last night. He was a wonderful man, funny with a great sense of humour and always laughing.

“If you have a bike then you are a target.”

Former delivery driver Jabed Hussain quit after being the victim of an acid attack in 2017 while delivering food for UberEats.

He had his moped stolen and was only protected from injury by his helmet.

“We have been campaigning for better protection,” Mr Hussain told the Star.

“Uber and Deliveroo are very greedy. Riders are classed as self-employed and therefore these companies have no duty to protect them.

“We want to see an end to the gig economy and more investment for police officers.

“The government says it wants to recruit 20,000 more police officers but there is no funding for it.”

He added that Mayor Of London Sadiq Khan “should listen” and he wants to arrange a meeting with him to discuss ways to tackle increasing violence on the streets.

Mr Khan said it was “vital” that motorcycle delivery drivers are given the support and protection they need in the job.

A Deliveroo spokesperson said: “This is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim.

“We take the protection and safety of riders extremely seriously.

“All Deliveroo riders are automatically insured and the company routinely works with local authorities on issues related to rider safety.

“We will of course assist the police with their investigations in any way we can.”

Uber had not responded to requests for comment at the time of going to press.

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