SNP ministers have told Alister Jack they will consider plans for a system to recall wrongdoing politicians after he advised Humza Yousaf he could help with the process in the wake of the Michael Matheson case.

The Scottish Secretary wrote to the First Minister last week offering to help come up with a procedure established in Westminster but not in Holyrood.

Responding on behalf of Mr Yousaf last night, SNP business minister George Adam told Mr Jack the Scottish Government will examine proposals being put forward by Conservative MSP Graham Simpson.

In his letter, shared with The Herald, Mr Adam told Mr Jack "Scottish ministers consider that responsibility for the regulation of Scottish Parliament members should rest primarily with its members".

READ MORE: Jack offers to help Yousaf come up with recall mechanism for MSPs

He added: "We are looking forward to seeing the proposals of Graham Simpson MSP who has secured the right to introduce the Removal and Recall (Members of the Scottish Parliament) Bill.

"We will of course engage with Mr Simpson's Bill when it is introduced to Parliament.

"On this occasion your offer of UK Government assistance with Scottish Parliament legislation is unnecessary."

Mr Adam then went on to say that there are "of course circumstances where such a constructive attitude could work" and cited collaboration on legislation to quash the convictions of post masters caught up in the Horizon scandal.

VOTE IN OUR ONLINE POLL: Should Scottish voters be able to recall shamed MSPs? 

Mr Simpson told The Herald: "The powers to make the changes that I am proposing lie firmly with the Scottish Parliament so I am very much looking forward to discussing my bill with the Scottish Government when it is ready. I welcome their positive comments."

In his letter the Scottish Secretary told Mr Yousaf that “the UK Government stands ready to work with the Scottish Government in making improvements in this area of such importance to the health of our democracy.”

His intervention comes amid a new row over the former health secretary Mr Matheson.

READ MORE: FM told to suspend Michael Matheson from SNP group

The Falkirk West MSP returned to Holyrood this week for the first time since he resigned on 8 February over his £11,000 iPad data bill.

It emerged last Thursday that he was supposedly off sick, with officials working for Mr Adam asking the Scottish Conservatives to “pair” with him for all this week’s votes.

However, despite supposedly being ill, the ex-frontbencher appeared at a constituency event, sharing details on his social media.

The Herald: Margaret FerrierFormer SNP MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West Margaret Ferrier. The MP was removed by her constituents in a recall petition, a system established in Westminster but not in Holyrood.

Last month, following a lengthy investigation, the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body upheld three complaints about the ex-minister relating to his expenses.

He has now been referred to the Scottish Parliament's Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee which will decide if he should face any sanctions, including possible suspension.

Even if he is temporarily removed from Holyrood, there is no obligation on him to stand down as an MSP.

Derek Mackay did not appear in parliament for over a year after resigning as finance secretary when it emerged he had contacted a teenage boy over social media - without knowing his age - and then bombarded him with over 270 messages.

Despite not returning to work at Holyrood, he continued to draw a full salary of £64,700.

VOTE IN OUR ONLINE POLL: Should Scottish voters be able to recall shamed MSPs? 

In his letter, Mr Jack said he was aware of “debate and commentary on the lack of a recall mechanism” for MSPs.

He pointed to the Recall of MPs Act, passed in 2015.

The Tory minister added: “I am writing to offer the UK Government’s assistance in introducing a recall mechanism for MSPs.

“I would be very happy to discuss how the procedures operate within the UK Parliament and options for introducing a mechanism in the Scottish Parliament.

“We could also consult on the mechanics of any such system, including engagement with political parties, to learn the lessons from UK parliamentary experience.

“The UK Government stands ready to work with the Scottish Government in making improvements in this area of such importance to the health of our democracy.”

READ MORE: Michael Matheson 'off sick' as MSPs consider iPad report

In Westminster, MPs who are sentenced to a prison term of up to a year, convicted of providing false information relating to parliamentary expenses or suspended from the Commons for more than 10 sitting days face a recall petition.

If 10% of their constituents sign, then they lose their seat, triggering a by-election.

So far, there has only been one recall petition in Scotland, when voters in Rutherglen and Hamilton West ousted ex-SNP MP Margaret Ferrier for breaching Covid rules.