A councillor at the centre of a police probe into an assault at a hotel has resigned from the Alliance Party.
Patrick Clarke will remain as an Independent on the current Down District Council and on the new Newry, Mourne and Down Council which takes over on April 1.
Mr Clarke (40), a Queen's law graduate who is well-known in the Dundrum and Newcastle area, was allegedly involved in an incident in a Newcastle hotel just days before Christmas.
He was arrested on suspicion of assault and subsequently released on bail.
Witnesses said an incident happened close to female toilets after a Christmas event.
Mr Clarke could not be contacted for comment last night.
Alliance leader David Ford said: "Following serious accusations made against councillor Patrick Clarke last month, resulting in an ongoing police investigation and an internal Alliance Party investigation, Patrick Clarke has now taken the decision to resign from the party.
"I respect the decision he has made."