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Privatisation of Birmingham Prison prompts POA threat

31 March 2011 Last updated at 19:58 BST

Birmingham Prison is to become the first jail in the UK to be privatised, Justice Secretary Ken Clarke has said. The decision to award security firm G4S the contract came after firms competed over the running of four prisons in England.

Hundreds of prison officers held a meeting outside Birmingham Prison minutes after the announcement was made.

Although prison officers are banned by law from going on strike, the Prison Officers' Association union (POA) called the government's decision "disgraceful", and has not ruled out industrial action.

The BBC's Tom Symonds reports.