Using Uber is "not morally acceptable" because of the ride-sharing app's employment practices, Labour's shadow business secretary said on Tuesday 11 July.

Rebecca Long-Bailey made the claim when she appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, just hours before the government-commissioned Matthew Taylor report into the so called "gig economy" is unveiled.

"I don't personally use Uber because I don't feel that is it morally acceptable, but that's not to say that they can't reform their practices," she said.

"The way they're exploiting their workers; and I think the recent case proved that in the courts, that suggested that the workers that were there were in fact workers, and they weren't flexible workers, and they needed to be given the adequate amount of protection and rights that workers enjoy."

Uber's UK-based company, Uber London Limited, saw pre-tax profits of more than £1.8m in 2015, up from £888,000 in 2014, according to documents filed at Companies House. But despite the popularity of the travel app, which has spread across Britain, it has faced legislative and political hurdles.

A London employment tribunal ruled in 2016 that Uber's 40,000 drivers in the UK should be considered workers, rather than self-employed contractors, by the company. The California-based firm is planning to appeal the decision at a two-day hearing in September.

If Uber fail to overturn the verdict, the company would have to pay drivers the National Minimum Wage of £7.50 per hour for over 25s, and allow paid holidays.

"Workers already have a number of employment rights and we must ensure that companies are no longer able to deny them those entitlements by misclassifying workers as self-employed independent contractors," said Nigel Mackay, the Leigh Day solicitor representing Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders.

"There should be serious repercussions for companies that flout the rules and it should be easier for workers to enforce their rights.

"Much of the speculation about the release of the report has focused on the supposed need to retain flexibility for both workers and employers. However, as was clear from the judgment in the claim brought against Uber issued last October, there is nothing to stop individuals from working flexibly and still receiving rights such as paid holiday and national minimum wage.

"We hope that the Taylor review recognises that even where individuals work flexibly, they should be entitled to the same employment rights and protections as any other worker. We would also like to see those rights extended so that those in precarious work have protection against being dismissed at their employer's whim."

Uber, which has faced months of chaos culminating in Travis Kalanick resigning as chief executive in June, said: "Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades before our app existed and with Uber they have more control.

"Drivers are totally free to choose if, when and where they drive with no shifts or minimum hours. In fact the main reason people say they sign up to drive with Uber is so they can be their own boss.

"Drivers using Uber made average fares of £15 per hour last year after our service fee and, even after costs, the average driver took home well over the National Living Wage. We're also proud to have moved things on from this industry's cash-in-hand past since every fare is electronically recorded, traceable and transparent."