MP Dominic Grieve will have to apply to the Beaconsfield Conservative Party if he wants to stand in the constituency at the next General Election amid an ongoing internal battle over his Brexit stance – but campaigners rallied to support him before a special meeting on his future.

The MP lost a confidence vote by 182 votes to 131 in March after some members of the Beaconsfield Constituency Conservatives Association (BCCA) tried to oust him over his views on Brexit.

After losing the confidence vote in March, the 100-strong group opposing him, which calls itself the BCCA Democracy, said if he refused to quit, the group has enough signatures to push for a special general meeting.

That special general meeting was held on Friday night at The Beaconsfield School – and Jackson Ng, the BCCA chairman, has now written to Mr Grieve to tell him he will now have to submit a written application to them if he wants to stand as MP in the next general election.

The former attorney general, who has spoken in favour of remaining in the EU, caused controversy among the party in March when he claimed he had “never felt more ashamed to be a member of the Conservative Party” and called for a second referendum.

In a statement posted on Twitter after the meeting on Friday night, Mr Ng said: “I understand that there are feelings of disappointment, anger and frustration from many of our membership.

“Therefore, following this evening’s special general meeting and on behalf of our executive council, I have immediately written to our MP, Dominic Grieve QC, to formally request that he now submits a written application to us to seek his readoption as our parliamentary candidate for the next general election expected in 2022.”

If Mr Grieve does apply, a secret ballot of members will be held to decide his fate. While he remains an MP now, if his application for readoption is rejected, he could face challenge from other members for the seat.

Writing on Twitter after the meeting, party member Dylan Kennedy said: “It was heartening that everyone spoke respectfully and with dignity.

“Dominic made an impassioned and highly intelligent speech. I am glad there was no animosity and the association should be proud of the conduct of this evening’s discourse.”

However, the move to deselect Mr Grieve has been criticised by others on social media.

Paul Critchley wrote: “The Conservatives do seem determined to drive out anyone with common sense, a sense of duty to the country and a level minded head on the shoulders from the party.”

Paul Gough added: “Beaconsfield Tories fail to appreciate that they have one of the most gifted MPs of the current crop representing them.”

Meanwhile, campaigners stood outside the meeting with banners and plaques in support of Mr Grieve.

Peter Roberts, who organised the support for Mr Grieve, said, "In the UK no MP is a delegate. They must represent all their constituents and should vote with their consciences in what they consider the national interest. It's for voters to throw them out at an election if they don't like what they do or believe.

“I find it amazing and sad that Edmund Burke, whose representative principle Conservatives have always celebrated and defended, is buried in Beaconsfield church less than half a mile away. Yet it seems that many local Conservative members, many of whom joined only recently, have little appreciation of the idea Burke set out.

"We will continue to give Mr Grieve our full support."