The founder of a pro-Union group which has been protesting pro-independence marches has said he “stands by” his claim that gas chambers were not used by Nazis to murder millions of Jews during World War Two.

Alistair McConnachie, who was expelled from Ukip for making the remarks, also admitted he doesn’t know why he cares so much about the United Kingdom. “I just like it,” he said.

He said A Force For Good, the group he set up to campaign against Scottish independence, believes the United Kingdom is a “moral concept” before conceding that it has “caused considerable problems” throughout the world.

The 52-year-old from Castle Douglas wears a Union Jack shirt when he berates pro-independence marchers, most recently in Inverness last week when thousands took part in a pro-independence march organised by All Under One Banner (AUOB).

The Orange Order paid McConnachie £2,000 for four months of “social media services” during the independence referendum campaign. He also gave an article to the Orange Order's No campaign website, British Together.

McConnachie, who was Ukip's Scottish organiser from 1999 to 2001, and a Ukip candidate five times, was barred from the party in 2001 after making comments about the Holocaust in an email to Ukip members.

He said: “I don't accept that gas chambers were used to execute Jews for the simple fact there is no direct physical evidence to show that such gas chambers ever existed... There are no photographs or films of execution gas chambers.... Alleged eyewitness accounts are revealed as false or highly exaggerated.”

Speaking to the Sunday Herald, McConnachie said: “I stand by that comment.” Ephraim Borowski, director of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities (SCoJeC), described McConnachie as a “revisionist fantasist”.

The Sunday Herald contacted McConnachie after he appeared at the AUOB march in Inverness last week with a PA system. He spent 45 minutes bellowing at pro-independence supporters and was only briefly interrupted when one marcher grabbed his microphone, which was swiftly retrieved. He plans to be at AUOB events in Dundee and Edinburgh.

McConnachie is single with no children and told the Sunday Herald he is a self-employed writer and researcher. He was born in Hong Kong into what he described as “a British army family”. He said: “I suppose I was immersed in the concept of Britain, the United Kingdom.”

His parents are from Tarbolton in Ayrshire and he was schooled in Castle Douglas, near Dumfries, where his father had a dental practice.

When asked why he cares so much about the United Kingdom that he travels around the country wearing his Union Jack shirt, demonstrating in the streets, there was a long pause before he said: “Well, because it’s a genuinely good thing that needs people to stand for it. Socially, culturally, historically, it’s ... I am as a person, the United Kingdom’s given me everything I have. I, I just like it in that sense. You know, that’s a good question. It’s not something I’ve ever really asked myself, why I actually care so much. I just know that I do.”

He went on to claim that A Force For Good was created to promote the United Kingdom as a “moral concept as much as a political concept”.

“At the heart of our philosophy on the union is the belief that together Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and indeed the wider British family throughout the Commonwealth, can be a moral force for good in the world. I would argue we’ve often been that, with exceptions of course, and we can be that again,” he said.

When asked what the exceptions are, McConnachie contradicted himself. He said: “Britain has not always been a force for good. Even lately it’s not been a force for good. You know, it’s caused considerable problems in the middle east for example, which has been very bad, and in fact that’s been one of the reasons why the Scottish nationalists in the recent past have been successful, because Britain has not been acting well on the world stage.”

A Force For Good is the trading name of private company AFFG Productions Ltd, which has an office in Glasgow. McConnachie, who is a director of AFFG, said A Force For Good collects around £10,000 a year in small donations through its website.

“It’s not really enough to continue to fund us but if we get £25,000 a year that would be enough to really shake things up,” he said.

He describes himself as “edgy” because “standing on a street corner in a Union Jack shirt shouting at people is a little bit unusual. We’re not producing grand economic reports about the state of the economy. It’s a little bit more rock and roll".

When asked about the shirt, he said: “That’s the only one in the world. It’s made out of Nelson’s flag at Trafalgar.”

He then laughed and added: “No, it’s from Liam Gallagher’s company Pretty Green. I’ve just got one.”

When asked if he regretted his comments about the Holocaust, McConnachie said: “I say what I say, and I stand by the things that I say. I’ve no time for regrets. Life’s too short.”

SCoJeC's Borowski said: “It is impossible to argue with someone who is unaware or in denial about the physical evidence all over Europe and the meticulous record-keeping of the Nazis themselves.

“Ten years ago he could have tried to persuade people like Rev Ernest Levy, who survived Belsen and settled in Glasgow, that he had imagined the horrors of the camps, but fortunately he, and many others including some perpetrators, recorded their eyewitness testimony to give the lie to such revisionist fantasies.

Politics should be about building a better society, so there should be no place for such irrational and offensive nonsense on either side of the independence debate.”