Barnet Borough Council's chief executive has ended days of speculation by officially confirming the authority’s monitoring officer has left.

A a report criticised monitoring officer Maryellen Salter's lack of knowledge and legal experience.

Ms Salter left the authority yesterday (October 9) by “mutual agreement” after the damning report, by independent lawyer Claer Lloyd-jones, advised it to “appoint a qualified, experienced monitoring officer”.

Formerly an accountant, she was appointed to the role in 2012 by former chief executive Nick Walkley – despite not having a legal background, which is normal for the monitoring role.

After days of remaining silent on the issue, chief executive Andrew Travers emailed all councillors explaining she had left.

The email said: “I am writing to you on senior staffing arrangements in the assurance group.

“Maryellen Salter yesterday left the employment of the council by mutual agreement. The remuneration committee will consider the recruitment process for the now vacant assurance director role in due course.

“In the meantime, I have exercised the urgency powers conferred upon the chief executive, in consultation with the leader, to appoint Peter Large as the council’s monitoring officer for the purposes of Section 5 of the Local Government Act 1989.

“Peter is currently seconded to the council as interim legal and governance adviser.

“He is the head of legal and democratic services at Westminster City Council, and Westminster’s monitoring officer. I have, in addition, asked Clair Green to assume responsibility for the non-monitoring officer aspects of the assurance director role.”