Michael Matheson has insisted he will stay on as an MSP despite breaching Holyrood's code of conduct.

The disgraced ex-health minister was back in the Scottish Parliament for the first time since resigning from government on February 8 over an £11,000 iPad data roaming bill charged to taxpayers.

Mr Matheson was stopped by journalists as he left the SNP group meeting. He was asked if he was going to stand down as an MSP.

He said: “No and as you know there is a standards process at the moment and I'm going to respect the confidentiality of that process and I look forward to the process being completed shortly.”

The Falkirk West MSP then walked away from media, refusing to answer questions about why he was off sick last week, but still took park in events in his constituency.

The Herald:

He also declined to say if he would refuse to take the £13,000 golden goodbye he is entitled to 90 days after leaving ministerial office.

READ MORE: Matheson attends constituency event while on 'sick leave'

Earlier this month, the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body said their investigation led them to find that Mr Matheson had breached section 7.4 of the code of conduct.

That states that "no improper use should be made of any payment or allowance made to members for public purposes".

Mr Matheson was also found to have breached section 7.3 which states that MSPs must abide by the rules.

The cross-party committee referred the SNP politician to the Scottish Parliament's Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, which will now decide if he should face any sanctions, including possible suspension.

The MSP came under scrutiny last November when the Daily Telegraph uncovered a £10,935.74 data roaming bill.

He initially agreed to pay £3,000 from his taxpayer-funded expenses, with the Scottish Parliament picking up the rest.

However, days later, after journalists and MSPs queried the charge, he agreed to pay the full amount from his own pocket.

At first, he claimed the bill was the result of parliamentary work while on a family holiday in Morrocco and a misunderstanding with a new sim card.

He then told MSPs that he had discovered his boys had been watching football during the family trip.

He said he had been told by his wife that the teenagers had used his parliamentary device as a wifi hotspot.

Mr Matheson then referred himself to the SPCB "to consider whether they think the matter needs to be investigated further."

Reports in the Sunday Mail later claimed that Mr Matheson had misled Holyrood’s Presiding Officer.

The paper says he told Alison Johnstone he did not know why his bill was so high even after he had learned that his children had used the device.

READ MORE: Michael Matheson breached MSP's code of conduct

Last week, Mr Matheson on "sick leave" from the Scottish Parliament with the Scottish Government's business manager, George Adam, searching for a Conservative MSP to pair with him, allowing him to miss votes.  

However, he was pictured at a number of constituency events, leading to opposition parties to question his integrity. 

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross said: “As he has done throughout this scandal, Michael Matheson smirked as he avoided answering key questions over the lies he told and his attempts to get the taxpayer to foot the bill for his data charges.

“It’s telling that, despite weeks of evading scrutiny, the only question he chose to answer was the one confirming that he won’t do the decent thing and resign as an MSP.

“Throughout this whole sorry saga, self-interest and self-preservation have been his guiding principles. Nothing changes.

“Michael Matheson only found himself being doorstepped by journalists, after an SNP group meeting, because Humza Yousaf lacks the backbone to remove the party whip from his disgraced colleague.”

Had a couple of requests for comment on Michael Matheson so I thought I'd pass on our response:

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said: "It was an absence of transparency that got Michael Matheson into this mess in the first place.

"Dodging questions from journalists will not help Michael Matheson restore his reputation.

"Ultimately the Standards Committee will decide what an appropriate sanction is but the public will not forget how badly this affair has reflected on both him and the First Minister who chose to back him."