He was first elected to office as member of the London County Council in 1911, and was elected to parliament in 1918. He served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health in the Conservative Government from 1924 to 1929 and entered the National Government of Ramsay MacDonald in 1931, and served as Postmaster General, Minister of Health, Secretary of State for Air, and finally as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Winston Churchill, before dying unexpectedly in office in 1943, aged 62.
Kingsley Wood is most notorious for a response made to Leo Amery MP in late 1939, during the so called phoney war, when asked why the RAF, rather than just scattering leaflets could not incendiary bomb sizeable arms dumps known to be hidden in the Black Forest, which was very dry after a hot summer. A shocked Wood responded: "Are you aware it is private property? Why, you will be asking me to bomb Essen [the home of major arms manufacturer Krupp] next!".