An inner-city councillor has dramatically quit the Socialist Party amid allegations that abuse of a woman was covered up.
City of Yarra councillor Stephen Jolly was among more than a dozen party members to resign suddenly over the allegations.
On Tuesday Cr Jolly posted a statement on social media saying he had resigned from the party after 34 years.
"It is over a matter of principle, not politics," he said. "Despite best attempts it was irreconcilable."
He signed a letter posted online that said the organisation had been "torn apart by attacks on a woman comrade for coming forward with serious allegations of abuse".
I am resigning from the Socialist Party.
It is over a matter of principle, not politics.
Despite best attempts, it was irreconcilable.— Stephen Jolly (@stephenjolly99) February 22, 2016
Other members who resigned also signed the letter.
"We believe such allegations should always be investigated with seriousness and sensitivity, while open to scrutiny and democratic oversight," the letter said.
It did not identify who carried out the alleged abuse or the identity of the alleged victim.
Fairfax Media contacted the Socialist Party's Melbourne head office for comment.
Prominent East-West Link protester Mel Gregson also signed the letter. In a post on Facebook Ms Gregson said by the end of the week the majority of the Socialist Party's membership will have resigned.
She said it was a sad end. "But it is a necessary departure," she said.