British Labour politician, secretary of state for transport 2007–08. A member of Parliament for Bolton West from 1997, she became a cabinet minister in Tony Blair's government from 2004, first as secretary of state for education and, from May 2006, as secretary of state for communities and local government, and minister for women. The new prime minister, Gordon Brown, appointed her transport secretary in june 2007, but she resigned in October 2008 for personal reasons. She stood down from Parliament at the 2010 general election
Kelly went to school in Sutton and Westminster in London before graduating from Queen's College, Oxford, in 1989 and from the London School of Economics in 1992. She was a parliamentary private secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food from 1998 and was promoted to the Treasury in 2001. Having served as economic secretary up to May 2002 and financial secretary until 2004, she then briefly held the post of minister for the Cabinet Office before her appointment in December of that year as secretary of state for education and skills. She also served during this time on the Commons treasury and public accounts committees. At the government reshuffle in May 2006, she took over the newly-created Department for Communities and Local Government (the successor department to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister), with a wideranging remit including community cohesion, housing, urban regeneration, and planning. In June 2007 she took over the Department for Transport in prime minister Gordon Brown's new Cabinet.
From 1990 to 1994 she was an economics writer for The Guardian national newspaper, and then joined the Bank of England's inflation report division for three years until her election to Parliament in May 1997.