Firefighters in England and Wales are to strike next Friday and over the weekend in a dispute over pensions.

The walkout will last from midday to 5pm on Friday 9 May, and will be followed by further action on 10 and 11 May.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) called the strike in protest to government plans to increase the retirement age and make changes to pensions.

The weekend strikes will take place from 2pm on Saturday, until 2am on Sunday, and again on Sunday from 10am to 3pm.

In Scotland, there will be a ban on voluntary overtime from midday on Friday to May 9.

The FBU is protesting that firefighters face having to pay higher pension contributions, work into their late 50s before retiring, and could be sacked as they grow older and their fitness declines.

The government says that firefighters have "one of the most generous pension schemes in all the public sector".

But a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: "It was the union executive's decision to call this strike that effectively ended its discussions with the government."

He added: "The government is clear that further change can be made through constructive engagement, but not under the shadow of industrial action, which only serves to damage firefighters' standing with the public."