Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee for the Democratic Party to face US President Donald Trump in an election in November, has been accused of sexual assault by a former staffer.

Tara Reade worked for Biden in 1992 and 1993, when he was a senator, representing the state of Delaware. Reade claims that while she worked for Biden he would often touch her inappropriately and without her permission. She also claims she was fired because she refused to serve drinks at an event – Biden had apparently wanted her to do so as he thought she had attractive legs. Reade also made the accusation that Biden had penetrated her with his fingers, also without her permission.

Reade had already made the claim that Biden had touched her inappropriately in 2019, but the accusation of sexual assault against the former vice-president was only made this year.

Biden and his campaign have denied the allegations, although he has in the past acknowledged that he may have made women uncomfortable and that norms around male behaviour have changed over his long political career.

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