Record numbers of court workers will walk out as part of nationwide public sector strikes next Wednesday, union leaders have claimed.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union says around 15,000 members employed by the Ministry of Justice - most working in the courts service - will protest against pension reforms.

A government spokeswoman told the Gazette that ‘robust contingency plans’ are in place, with services such as custody and family cases given priority.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said he is expecting a bigger response than in the previous walkout in June, when courts remained open.