Spain: Popular Party official quits amid corruption claims

The president of the Madrid branch of Spain's center-right Popular Party has resigned amid allegations that the branch benefited from irregular funding.

Esperanza Aguirre, 64, who had been president of the Senate and then Madrid's regional president until 2012, said she was shocked by revelations her party could have been involved in corruption.

At a hastily-convened press conference Sunday she said that as the party's Madrid president she has "no culpability, but a political responsibility that I assume by resigning."

Aguirre on Friday appeared before the Madrid Assembly as it held a commission of inquiry into political corruption.

A day earlier police had searched the Popular Party's national headquarters in Madrid on orders given by a National Court judge who is investigating illegal financing.