Conservative councillor Adam Carew has called for the renationalisation of Britain’s energy industries in the wake of eye-watering price rises from the private companies now in charge of them.

Labour brought electricity and gas under government control in 1947 and 1948 in an effort to create regulated and consistent systems for their supply across the country.

But Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government reversed the thinking, allowing private firms back into gas in 1986 and electricity in 1989.

Speaking before Liz Truss was confirmed as winner of the Conservative Party’s leadership election on Monday, Cllr Carew – who represents Whitehill & Greatham on East Hampshire District Council – said: “Whoever becomes the next Conservative leader will not only need to unite the party but unite the country.

“They will need to keep climate change, renewable energy, energy saving, insulation and retrofit firmly on the agenda.”

Cllr Carew added: “Sadly I think it unlikely they will consider renationalising our utilities, the water and energy companies – something that even most Conservative voters seem to agree on.

“As with rail privatisation, it has never worked here as these companies are monopolies and interested more in paying dividends and obscene bonuses to their shareholders and fat-cat chief executives than their customers.”