AN Ofsted report that cost former Haringey Council children's director Sharon Shoesmith her job was manipulated to justify her dismissal, her lawyers claim.

Ms Shoesmith was removed from her £130,000 a year post by children's secretary Ed Balls following the publication of the damning inspection into the department she managed.

She is now seeking a judicial review of his decision.

Her lawyers claim Ofsted were put under pressure from the Government to paint a bleaker picture in order to have a stronger case for dismissal following the publication of 2,000 pages of material Ofsted failed to disclose at the start of the High Court hearing, at the request of judge Mr Justice Foskett.

The documents reveal a substantial differences between early drafts of the joint area review draft and final version submitted to children's secretary Ed Balls, barrister James Maurici has said.

He will also argue Ofsted managers removed sections acknowledging Ms Shoesmith's positive achievements, left out key failings of other agencies, and added new passages that put her in an unfavourable light.

In a written submission, Mr Maurici said: "The final report is far more negative, stripping out much of the positive, turning mixed findings into negative ones and emphasising/strengthening the negative further.

"Moreover, new negative findings are introduced later in the redrafting process specifically focused on the Claimant [Ms Shoesmith]."

The result was a claim that "the arrangements for the leadership and management of safeguarding by the local authority and partner agencies in Haringey are inadequate."

In its defence, Ofsted said: "It is wrong to suggest that a first draft won't be changed and improved.

"Ofsted inspections routinely undergo a process which involves challenge, review and moderation to ensure that all findings are fair and properly evidenced."

Dismissing the claims, barrister Tim Ward, on behalf of Ofsted, wrote: "There are suggestions in the claimant's response that Ofsted may have simply manufactured evidence, deliberately destroyed documents to thwart proceedings, succumbed to political pressure, and may even have committed criminal offences.

"None of these allegations - or rather suggestions - are remotely made out."

James Eadie, QC lawyer on behalf of Children's Secretary Ed Balls, said: "There can be no suggestion but that the JAR (Joint Area Review) was independent and acted at all times as such - no political interference with process, or conclusions, is or could be alleged."

Later, Mr Balls told the BBC: "At no point did I or anybody in my department ever seek to influence the outcome of the independent Ofsted report."

Shoesmith joined Haringey Council in 2001 as Director of education before taking on the role of Director of Children's Services in 2004. She was responsible for both education and children's social services and also held the position of chair on the Local Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB).

It was on her watch that 17-month-old Peter Conelly, Baby P, died on August 3, 2007, having suffered horrific abuse at the hands of mother Tracey Connelly, 27, Conelly's boyfriend Stephen Barker, 33, and his brother Jason Owen, 37.

All three have been jailed over his death.

Baby Peter had been well-known to social services and had been on Haringey Council's child protection register, which lists those most at risk of harm.