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Electricity pylons in WalesImage copyrightGetty Images

British Gas was privatised in 1986 under Margaret Thatcher’s government, while the first parts of the electricity sector were privatised in late 1990, when the 12 regional electricity companies in England and Wales were sold.

Later, the Scottish industry was sold, as were the generating businesses National Power and Powergen and also the National Grid.

The National Grid’s main business is moving electricity and gas around the country. This is known as transmission. The very last leg of the journey into people’s homes and businesses – known as distribution – is done by a number of different companies.

It has been Labour Party policy since the 2017 election to take the transmission and distribution companies back into public ownership.

The party would then encourage the establishment of locally owned energy supply businesses to compete with the private sector suppliers, including the Big Six suppliers: British Gas, EDF, E.on, npower, Scottish Power and SSE.