Proposals will be unveiled in Holyrood this month to allow constituents to kick out rule breaking MSPs in a by election in the wake of the Michael Matheson case.

Mr Matheson was handed the toughest ever sanction given by parliament last week - a 27 day ban and loss of salary for 54 days - after he breached the parliament's expenses policy over the use of his parliamentary iPad while on a family holiday in Morocco.

The former health secretary initially claimed the £11,000 data bill he incurred was through the legitimate use of the device while abroad, but after political and media pressure he admitted his sons had used the device as a hotspot to watch football matches.

Mr Matheson resigned from the government in February, apologised to Parliament and paid back the bill, which was initially charged to his parliamentary device.

READ MORE: Police assess new complaint over Matheson's iPad bill

The Herald revealed on Friday a new complaint has been made to Police Scotland in connection with the case which they are assessing. The force dismissed a complaint made to them last November relating to the matter.

Last week many MSPs noted that had Mr Matheson received such as sanction at Westminster a process would have been called allowing his constituents to sign a recall petition to remove him.

Under the Westminster system if an MP is barred from parliament for 10 days or more a recall petition is put to his or her constituents.

If more than 10% of registered voters in the constituency sign the petition a by election is held with the "recalled" MP allowed to stand.

READ MORE: SNP anger as Matheson handed record ban from Holyrood

The process to bring in a such a mechanism in Holyrood will begin later this month when Conservative MSP Graham Simpson publishes his Removal from Office and Recall (Members of the Scottish Parliament) Bill.

Mr Simpson's bill will be examined by MSPs on the standards committee in the autumn and he hopes the bill will complete its further parliamentary stages and be passed next year.

In the wake of Mr Matheson's suspension the leaders of all the main parties in Scotland supported the principle of a recall petition mechanism for Holyrood.

"It is good to hear that all parties support the principle of a recall bill and I look forward to working with them once the bill is published," Mr Simpson told the Herald on Sunday.

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In contrast to Westminster which elects members solely via the first past the post system, Holyrood has a dual system for electing its members with some elected through first by the post and also elected via party lists, which creates an element of proportional representation in Scottish Parliament elections.

The existence of these MSPs which represent regions was previously seen as a barrier to having a recall petition mechanism in Holyrood.

However Mr Simpson says his bill will address this issue when it is published.

"The Westminster system deals with MPs elected by first past the post. We have first past the past the post MSPs but we also have regional MSPs who are elected through the list system.

"I have had to come up with a system that ensures fairness of treatment for everyone as well as providing the ability to make your case to the electorate should you face recall. My proposals do that.

"In light of the Michael Matheson case we need a recall system more than ever."

Mr Simpson started working on the draft bill after the former SNP MSP Derek Mackay resigned as finance secretary in 2020 after sending 270 messages via Facebook and Instagram to a 16-year-old schoolboy including one calling him "cute". He said at the time that he had "behaved foolishly" and took full responsibility for his actions.

Mr Mackay was suspended from the SNP but he remained an independent MSP, receiving £64,470 as part of his basic salary for another 14 months, despite never returning to the Scottish Parliament. He stood down in May 2021.

Visiting Greenock on Friday Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer backed calls made by Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie for a recall petition being introduced in Holyrood.

During the week First Minister John Swinney along with the Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie and Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton all signalled their support for the Westminster-style right to recall an elected representative.

But Mr Swinney has spoken of his concerns that the sanction process was prejudiced.

Speaking at his party’s General Election event at the Beacon Arts Centre, Sir Keir compared Mr Swinney to former Prime Minister Boris Johnson and said the “parallels with the Tories and the SNP are very striking now” as he backed a recall petition.

He said: “You’ve got chaos and division, both in Westminster and with the SNP. You’ve got unelected leader after unelected leader in Westminster and with the SNP. And now on standards in public life, you’ve got the SNP picking up the Boris Johnson playbook.

“I mean, that’s how striking the examples are. So, of course, as Anas (Sarwar) says, there should be a recall petition. It’s worked well in our Parliament, and we’ve had a number of by-elections which we’ve very much enjoyed.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said the SNP handling of the scandal had been “nothing short of shameful” adding: "We absolutely need a right to recall in Holyrood.”

Speaking during a campaign event in Glasgow, the First Minister would not be drawn on Mr Matheson.

Mr Swinney told journalists earlier this week that he was in “support” of the idea of a recall process, stating the current system was ‘inadequate’.

But he said Mr Matheson “made a mistake and had been given a punishment by Parliament which I accept unreservedly.”

However, the SNP said the process by Holyrood’s Standard’s Committee, which suggested the Holyrood ban, was “flawed” after Tory MSP Annie Wells – a committee member – made public comments on Mr Matheson ahead of the decision.

Scotland's first recall petition was triggered last summer after former SNP MP Margaret Ferrier broke Covid rules in September 2020 including travelling by train from London to Glasgow after testing positive for the virus.

She was arrested and charged with culpable and reckless conduct in January 2021 and pleaded guilty in August 2022. A month later she was ordered to carry out 270 hours of community service.

She was then barred by Westminster's standards committee in a move which automatically triggered a recall petition. 

After more than 10% of her constituents signed it last summer a by election was held in October with Labour taking the seat to secure a second MP in Scotland.