A Cuddington man has been selected as UKIP’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Weaver Vale in next year’s general election.

John Bickley, 61, has thrown his hat into the ring once more, after making waves by coming second to Labour in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election in February.

Mr Bickley, who is self-employed and works in computer software and commerce, told The Chronicle he believes he stands a good chance of winning the seat.

“Two things have become clear in the two recent UK by-elections and the local and European elections,” he said.

“First, there has been a surge in support for UKIP and second, UKIP appeals to former Labour supporters as well as former Tories.

“It’s hard to believe the level of disdain for Cameron and Miliband and all these politicians and pundits writing off UKIP as a protest vote are going to have a big surprise.

“Our appeal to the working class spells big trouble for Labour which has complacently assumed that Weaver Vale will fall into its lap at the General Election.

“People have been telling me that they are unhappy with the choice of Conservative or Labour and they welcome the fresh, common-sense approach of UKIP.”

Mr Bickley, who joined UKIP in 2011 having never been a member of a political party before, revealed the party wanted him to stand in Wythenshawe and Sale East again but he was determined to stand in a local constituency.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision”, he said.

“I’ve lived in Cuddington for twenty years and UKIP has an active, growing local branch admirably organised by Chris Watkin and we believe we can win.”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has described him as an ‘outstanding candidate’, who proved himself at the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election.

Mr Farage said: “He will do an excellent job in Weaver Vale and I hope that next year the people of the constituency will vote for him.

“I saw from my recent visit to the constituency that there’s a lot of support for UKIP and the local branch is very strong, organised and highly motivated. The local branch tell me they believe UKIP can win Weaver Vale.”