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Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo stands on the roof of a wagon as he sings the Andalusian anthem with protesters in Cadiz, southern Spain on August 28, 2012.

JON NAZCA/REUTERS

A clothes designer owned by Swedish chain H&M pulled from stores a T-shirt paying homage to a radical Spanish politician who backed Robin Hood-style looting of supermarkets, the company said Monday.

The Weekday brand owned by H&M, a popular budget fashion store, had released a small line of T-shirts bearing the slogan "Food to the Poor. No world hunger," followed by the politician's name: Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo.

Mr. Sanchez, mayor of the village of Marinaleda in Andalucia, has become a controversial cult figure after he endorsed the looting of two supermarkets last month by activists who gave out the food to the needy.

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The shirt, part of a line of topical designs by Weekday, sparked controversy despite being for sale in relatively small numbers, and prompted the company to apologize.

Spanish media saw irony in a global brand championing Sanchez, whose protests have challenged big businesses.

"With regard to the T-shirt that alludes to the mayor of Marinaleda, Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the Weekday brand has decided to withdraw any samples that may still be on sale," H&M Spain said in a statement on Monday.

"It was never Weekday's intention to take a position [on Sanchez's politics]," the statement added. "It is sorry if any of its clients was offended by the design."

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