A TAXI firm has been branded “greedy and immoral” after it won a legal battle with the city council.

Uber won a court appeal bid to enable it to continue operating in Brighton after claims it was not “fit and proper”.

A judge at Brighton Magistrates’ Court granted a five-year operating licence to the ride-hailing app on Tuesday.

This follows a decision by Brighton and Hove City Council in April not to renew Uber’s licence because it was not “fit and proper” due to its use of data and drivers from other areas.

The council expressed concern about a data breach which led to the personal details of some 2.7 million Uber customers in the UK being accessed and downloaded by hackers.

Officials also claimed trust in the company had been eroded in relation to Uber’s alleged non-

compliance with commitments to use only Brighton and Hove licensed drivers in the area.

But District Judge Tessa Szagun ruled that Uber “have satisfied me that they are now fit and proper to be granted this licence”.

She noted that the council conceded its concerns over the data breach “have been addressed” and they “no longer rely on having been misled” over the issue of cross-border hiring.

Uber was allowed to continue operating in Brighton while its appeal was determined.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, said: “We’re disappointed that Brighton Magistrates’ Court caved in and let a greedy and immoral firm win.

“Uber failed to meet the council’s public safety standards by refusing to use only Brighton and Hove licensed drivers in the city and by losing passengers’ data.

“Despite claiming that it is a fit and proper operator, Uber has not changed. Neither we nor the council are fooled.

“Today, the justice system has failed both passengers and taxi drivers. This controversial and wrong decision is likely to be appealed.”

The council said it was “disappointed” to have lost the appeal.