A range of House of Commons select committees is appointed by standing order to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of principal government departments and the public bodies associated with them1. Since the committees mirror government departments, changes in the arrangement of those departments usually lead to an adjustment in the select committee structure. Most committees have 11 members, reflecting the party balance in the House, but the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee has 13 to ensure the representation of smaller parties2. Generally a quorum is three or, if greater, a quarter of the number of its members
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