Barnet Borough Council has denied suggestions that Maryellen Salter was the only candidate for the role of monitoring officer.

Documents appeared to show that Ms Salter, an accountant with no legal background, was the only person nominated for the position in October 2012, which is usually performed by a senior lawyer.

She was promoted from head of the council’s audit committee by former chief executive Nick Walkley, who now works at Haringey Borough Council.

The authority came under fire in a damning report into a series of legal blunders which took place at a council meeting on June 2.

A statement from Barnet Borough Council said: “The senior management recruitment process was administered by external HR consultants Penna and ran from April to August 2012.

“All candidates for senior management roles took part in a rigorous selection process which consisted of written tests, a technical interview by a specialist technical assessor, psychometric testing and final panel interview.”

The report, by independent lawyer Claer Lloyd-Jones, criticised the authority as it does not have access to professional legal advice at all times.

It also bought Ms Salter’s role to police the lawfulness of the authority’s conduct and decisions into question.

“Barnet may need to reassess how the role of MO is carried out in Barnet”, it added.

The Times Series has asked Haringey Borough Council for a statement from Mr Walkley but no comment has been forthcoming.