The UK Independence Party has announced their candidate to contest the forthcoming by-election in Wythenshawe and Sale East – John Bickley.
John, 60, grew up on a Wythenshawe council estate. He attended local primary and secondary modern schools before starting work with a locally based company as a laboratory technician.
The former altar boy at St Peter’s church progressed after five years to join EMI Records representing them in the North West. During the 1980’s he worked for Universal Music before moving into the fast expanding video film market, with Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios as managing director of their joint venture company, CIC Video UK. He grew the company from £10 to £85 million in less than four years and took it to a dominant market leadership position.
In 1992 he joined the founders of Psygnosis Ltd, a privately held company based in the North West of England. Psygnosis was a pioneering video games company which was acquired by Sony for £30+million in 1993 (the year after he joined the founders). The company grew from a UK-based company to one with 12 offices Worldwide which John set up and a turnover of £275 million. In 1998 John merged Psygnosis into Sony PlayStation Europe and became Vice President Publishing, Sony PlayStation Europe.
In 2001 John joined Celoxica Ltd, a software ‘start up’, (spun-out of Oxford University) as Vice President EMEA. The company specialised in computer chip compilation technology and was successfully floated on AIM
In 2003 John headed up Genemation Ltd, a high tech ‘start-up’ that was spun out of the University of Manchester’s Imaging Science and Biomedical Engineering division (ISBE) which developed innovative ‘face synthesis’ middleware tools and technology for digital content artists, mainly in the video games and post production sectors. He raised £1.2million of venture capital funding from North West regional development funds. In April 2008 he set up FaceTec Ltd and acquired the IP and assets of Genemation Ltd.
He is a father-of-two and his wife works as a part-time carer at the special needs school in Winsford. His own father was a staunch Labour supporter and trade union member.
John joined UKIP three years ago and has been an active member of the party’s Cheshire West branch. His interests apart from politics include music, film, technology, golf and walking.
“As I grew up in the area I can empathise with most of its constituents. I can show that despite a poor start in life and a not too successful education you can still make it with hard work and determination,” said John.
“I have no doubt that UKIP is the party of common sense that speaks to and for people from all walks of life. People are fed up with the old political parties and UKIP offers a real change for the better,” he added.
Party Leader Nigel Farage said:
“I am delighted that John is our candidate in the forthcoming parliamentary election in Wythenshawe and Sale East.”
“He is an excellent communicator and a highly motivated energetic individual who is passionate in his beliefs. His background means he has an intimate knowledge of the area and its needs and his nature means he is always prepared to go the extra mile.”
We add our own compliment to that of Nigel’s by saying that, in our opinion, the party could not have found a stronger candidate: a working class background, a successful business career built on his own efforts and skills, together with already having proven his mettle in a very competitive Hustings of eight candidates.
UKIP Daily wishes John every success – our first Westminster MP perhaps?