Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has told his political allies to join him in a single socialist party, or leave his government.

Mr Chavez wants to create the United Socialist Party as an umbrella group for dozens of groups that back him.

Three of the parties – Fatherland for All, the Communist Party and Podemos – have so far resisted the idea.

The three parties have seats in the pro-Chavez assembly and Podemos has some governorships.

“If you want to go, leave. In reality you are not indispensable,” Mr Chavez said during his television programme Hello, President.

He added that he considered the three parties to be “almost in opposition”.

“I don’t want allies like that.”

The three have not entirely dismissed the idea of forming a single party, but have said they would like a debate about its structure.

Mr Chavez – who won a landslide victory in the December elections – has pledged to turn Venezuela into a socialist state.