A petition has been launched in support of a doctor who is under investigation for asking a Muslim woman to remove her veil.
Dr Keith Wolverson, 52, has said he is unable to find work and is planning to leave the profession after he was accused of racial discrimination which could result in him being struck off.
The locum GP asked the woman to remove her niqab - a garment that covers the face apart from the eyes - because he could not understand what she was saying about her sick daughter.
He told the Mail on Sunday he “politely” asked her to remove her veil and that the woman did not object during the consultation last June at a walk-in centre at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.
However, the woman’s husband later made a complaint and the General Medical Council informed Dr Wolverson he was being investigated over an allegation of racial discrimination.
The petition on Change.org backing Dr Wolverson has reached more than 10,000 signatures.
He is now considering quitting the profession after 23 years of unblemished service. He has not been able to work at the practice since the incident.
“Unfortunately I’m not able to work at the moment as I’m a locum GP and no one will employ you while you’re under investigation by the GMC,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
“I feel I’ve been left with no alternative but to look at doing something else.
“I’ve received a lot of messages of support since announcing my decision, which is a comfort. People have been almost unequivocal in backing me.”
The petition calls for Dr Wolverson not to be “fired” and says the GMC should “treat this man fairly and look at all the evidence”.
The Derbyshire GP said the woman brought her daughter, who was aged ten or 11, to the walk-in centre because she was concerned she may have tonsillitis.
Dr Wolverson said he struggled to hear her account of her daughter’s medical issues because her speech was muffled by the veil.
He said that while the woman raised no objection to his request to remove the veil, her husband arrived afterwards and said he was making a complaint.
According to the complaint, the woman told Dr Wolverson she did not want to remove the veil, but he denies this.