Joe Biden: Former VP formally accepts the Democratic nomination

Mr Biden has promised to ‘end national darkness’ in acceptance speech.

Joe Biden has vowed to unite an America torn by crisis and contempt as he accepted the Democratic presidential nomination.

The former vice president to Barack Obama addressed his fellow Democrats and millions of Americans at home who he hopes will send him to the White House to replace Donald Trump.

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However his triumphant moment was drained of immediate drama by the coronavirus pandemic, which left him speaking to a nearly empty arena rather than to a joyously cheering crowd.

He said: "Here and now I give you my word, if you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst.

"I'll be an ally of the light, not our darkness.

"And make no mistake, we'll overcome this season of darkness in America."

The pandemic has fundamentally altered the campaign but Mr Biden pointed to the public health emergency and the severe economic fallout to turn traits previously seen as vulnerabilities - a long career spent in elected office - into an advantage by presenting himself as a competent leader.

The night's keynote address was the speech of a lifetime for Biden, who at 77 would be the oldest president ever elected if he defeats Mr Trump in November.

Mr Biden's positive focus on Thursday night marked a break from the dire warnings offered by former President Obama and others the night before.

The 44th president of the United States warned that American democracy itself could falter if Mr Trump is reelected, while Mr Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, the 55-year-old California senator and the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, addressed race problems in a way Mr Biden could not.

Throughout their convention, the Democrats have summoned a collective urgency about the dangers of Mr Trump as president.

In 2016, they dismissed and sometimes trivialised him but in the days leading up to Mr Biden's acceptance speech, they cast him as an existential threat to the country.

Reporting by PA

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