The former leader of Haringey Council is planning to take the Local Government Ombudsman to court after he was criticised in a recent report.

Joseph Ejiofor, who led the council from 2018 until 2021, is seeking a judicial review of the decision to name him in the report and has issued legal proceedings.

The ombudsman, which handles complaints against councils, released a report in January criticising Cllr Ejiofor following an investigation into a resident’s complaint over a proposed council-led housing development in Muswell Hill.

Under the initial plans, former care home Cranwood House was set to be demolished along with two nearby terraces, to make way for new homes. The council spent more than £2 million buying up one of the properties.

Read more: Ombudsman criticises council over Muswell Hill homes plans

Several years later, in 2020, Cllr Ejiofor decided to ditch the scheme in favour of new plans that would avoid demolishing the homes. The resident complained to the ombudsman that the council’s handling of the possible buy-up of his home to allow the scheme to go ahead left his family facing six years of uncertainty and caused “considerable stress”.

The ombudsman’s report described Cllr Ejiofor’s decision to abandon the initial scheme as “flawed” and said naming him was “in the public interest”. According to the ombudsman, the decision was taken “without proper scrutiny and analysis of all options and consideration of the consequences”.

Cllr Ejiofor subsequently disputed the report’s findings and said the decision not to demolish the terrace “was a result of the council listening to residents” who had “opposed the demolition of their homes”.

In a statement issued earlier this week, Cllr Ejiofor said the ombudsman, which has been operating since the 1970s, had failed to identify a single precedent case of naming an individual councillor, despite multiple requests to do so by his legal team.

Read more: Former Haringey Council leader barred from re-election

Cllr Ejiofor said: “Whilst the ombudsman enjoys broad discretion in many areas, its ability to ‘name and shame’ individuals is tightly prescribed by law, because these decisions have severe personal consequences.

“I am seeking leave to judicially review the ombudsman’s decision to name me, because I believe it to be legally flawed, and because I want my good name back.”

In February, Cllr Ejiofor suggested the ombudsman’s report had been one of the reasons he was blocked from standing as a Labour candidate in the local election.

A spokesperson for the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman said: “As the councillor has indicated he has lodged a claim with the court, it would be inappropriate for us to say anything further.”