New Madrid councilor resigns over Twitter Holocaust joke

Manuela Carmena
City councilors vote to elect Manuela Carmena, a 71-year-old retired judge, as Madrid's new mayor in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, June 13, 2015. Spain's biggest cities, Madrid and Barcelona, have swear in far-left mayors Saturday in one of the nation's biggest political upheavals in years. The new mayors promise to cut their own salaries, halt homeowner evictions and eliminate perks enjoyed by the rich and famous. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

MADRID (AP) — Madrid’s new leftist mayor has moved to resolve her first political crisis by accepting the much-demanded resignation of her culture councilor over a joke he posted on Twitter about the Holocaust four years ago.

Manuela Carmena, who took office Saturday, accepted Guillermo Zapata’s resignation Monday after opposition parties and other groups demanded he step down.

Zapata apologized Sunday for the Holocaust tweet and another directed against a victim of the Basque armed group ETA. He said the tweets, sent while working as a script writer and novelist in 2011, were meant as comments on the cruelty jokes sometimes can reflect and had been taken out of context by political opponents.

Carmena, backed by the leftist Podemos party, has ended the conservative Popular Party’s 24-year grip on Madrid’s city government.

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