A TOP consultant says he will be forced to leave Britain if the Home Office carries out its threat to deport his children.

The departure of Dr Akif Gani, 36, could create serious gaps in the care for elderly patients at Newcastle General Hospital where he works.

Dr Gani has lived in the city for 11 years and both his children were born there.

But the Home Office is threatening to deport his family and the consultant said he would be forced to return to South Africa with them. Dr Gani lives in Cochrane Park, Newcastle, with wife Somayya, 29, and children Aalia, three and Shakeel, ten months.

He has been renewing a temporary work visa every four years but recently applied for indefinite right to remain. This was granted on Monday.

On the same day, Somayya, Aalia and Shakeel all received letters from the Home Office telling them they must return to South Africa. The family now have eight working days to appeal against this.

Dr Gani said: "Although I can stay here and work, if my wife and children go, then I will go with them.

"But I don't want to leave. Newcastle is my home. I have been here 11 years, we got married here, and both our children were born here.

A Home Office spokeswoman said she could not comment on individual cases but that if a parent was given indefinite leave to remain, it does not guarantee their children can stay.