Barnet Council has come under fire for awarding a lucrative contract to the firm investigating the sale of Barnet FC's Underhill Stadium.

The £112,000 contract to consult on the Barnet Bond initiative - a package of different ideas for raising money for future infrastructure improvements - was granted to Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) last month after a competitive tendering process. But some have questioned whether this constitutes a conflict of interest.

PwC has been investigating the previous Labour and Liberal Democrat administration since 2005, over allegations it had sold the stadium's freehold at below-market rate in 2002. Previous investigations into the issue have found no evidence of malpractice.

Labour MP for Hendon, Andrew Dismore, said: "It does seem peculiar that a company investigating the council should also be working for them.

"Inevitably the Barnet Bond is a big contract, and there are certainly questions of a conflict of interest that need to be raised even if there are firewalls within Pricewaterhouse Coopers."

Barnet Green Party spokesman and Thomson Reuters journalist Andrew Newby said: "There is quite obviously a conflict of interest here.

"I would have thought that another consultant could have been found. I don't know why they had to go to the same one that is investigating them."

But a council spokesman denied any conflict, saying there was no connection between the two. "The contract was awarded following a competitive tender and in accordance with council procedures."