SCOTTISH Labour leader Johann Lamont has sought to draw a line under speculation about her future by declaring publicly she will fight on in the role.

She used First Minister's Questions at Holyrood to hit back at party colleagues who have been briefing against her.

Calls for her to step aside and make way for Jim Murphy, the shadow international development secretary, have grown louder during Labour's annual conference in Manchester.

They come amid growing anxiety within the party about its failure to secure a No vote in the referendum in the heartland areas of Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire.

In the first First Minister's Questions since the poll, Alex Salmond taunted Ms Lamont over the speculation.

But Ms Lamont, who is understood to be increasingly angry about the criticism of her leadership, hit back: "When the First Minister is long gone I will still be doing my job on behalf of the people of Scotland."

She received backing yesterday from the Scottish Labour Campaign for Socialism.

In a statement, the left-wing grouping chaired by MSP Elaine Smith demanded a radical manifesto for the 2016 Holyrood election and warned many Labour voters felt "alienated and abandoned by mainstream politics in general and by the Scottish Labour Party in particular".

However, in what was seen as a swipe at Blairite MP Mr Murphy, it added: "Recent reports in the press that this can be resolved by a new, more right-wing leadership are profoundly mistaken".

In a bid to get back on the front foot, Ms Lamont attacked Mr Salmond's record on the NHS and his claim that it was under threat from privatisation of services south of the Border.

Yesterday it emerged that the Scottish Government had allowed a private company to run the NHS's patient records database just weeks before the referendum.

She claimed Mr Salmond had done "more to privatise the NHS than anyone else in Scotland".

He dismissed the charge, saying: "It is like saying this Parliament is being privatised because we use the Windows system in our computers."

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, claimed that Mr Salmond was presiding over a "zombie government" which had no legislative programme in place.

She said he had prepared for a Yes vote but following defeat in the referendum had no plan for the country.

The Scottish Government is due to unveil its programme,which is usually published when MSPs return from their summer break, after Mr Salmond's successor is announced in November.

Ms Davidson said: "We now have at least two more months of what the papers are describing as a zombie government.

"In the meantime, the First Minister will pick up another £20,000 worth of taxpayers' money as salary. He will go on a farewell photo-op tour before the inevitable happens and his deputy will take over.

"We know that it's not legislation that he's working on, it's his book deal.

"So, if the First Minister is in office but not in power, can he tell us, what is the point of him hanging around?"

The First Minister said work was under way on land reform, same-sex marriage, free school meals and ending the early automatic release of prisoners, .

He said: "The Scottish people recognise that the SNP epitomises in that programme the wishes of the vast majority of the people of Scotland, hence the democratic success of this party and the undemocratic lack of success of the Conservative Party."

Highlighting the SNP's rise in members, he added: "The membership expects us to go through a democratic process in terms of first the election of a leader and deputy leader, and then through this parliament in terms of the election of a First Minister."