Kelly was born and bred in Medway and currently lives in Rochester. She is a marine surveyor and a director of a UK marine and industrial coatings company which involves working on a number of marine and land based projects. Kelly is a keen sailor and races sailing yachts on the River Medway and is passionate about Medway’s maritime heritage. She was elected to Medway Council in 2011 and appointed a Member of Parliament (MP) for Rochester and Strood in the May 2015 general election. In January 2018 Kelly resigned as a Ward member to take up a position in the Chief Whip’s office. In July 2018 she was asked by the Prime Minister to become Minister for Small Business at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which she accepted.