A SCOTS whistleblower plans to lobby American Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton over the detention of an ex US soldier who passed on secret government documents to anti secrecy website WIkiLeaks.

Chelsea Manning, who was born Bradley but now wants to be regarded as a woman, was a junior intelligence analyst for the US when she leaked 750,000 classified documents in 2010, later being sentenced to 35 years in jail.

Campaigner Pete Gregson, who helped expose a major property scandal involving the repairs department at City of Edinburgh Council, launched an online petition against the sentence which he plans to present to Mrs Clinton this week.

He also hopes to win the support of Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson and Labour counterpart Kezia Dugdale.

Mr Gregson said: “We all know that Ms Clinton will be the next US President. When politicians are on the campaign trail they can be pushed in to take a stand on complex issues- something they can easily dodge once elected.

“This is the time to get Hillary to say how she stands on the issue - she is hungry for votes.”

He now plans to hand the petition for Mrs Clinton, which also cites itself as a protest over President Barack Obama’s approach to whistleblowers, over to the US Consul in Edinburgh on Saturday.

His efforts have also been reflected by the likes of Amnesty International who have features Ms Manning’s case on their web pages.

Some quarters previously hailed her as a hero for sharing the classified materials which included diplomatic cables, videos of airstrikes and hundreds of thousands of army files which became widely known as the Iraq War Logs.

However the authorities were swift to detain her in May 2010 after she shared her involvement with an online contact called Adrian Lamo who passed on her claims.

July will mark her third year since conviction. She was sentenced in August 2013.

Among the 22 charges she faced over the leaks was one of aiding the enemy which could have resulted in a death sentence. She pleaded guilty to ten of them and was convicted of 17 in total.

Mr Gregson has previously campaigned on issues including the Edinburgh trams fiasco, the city's statutory notice scandal and more recently fought for the right fro NHS workers in Scotland to have its own whistleblowing helpline.

He said he was moved to start the campaign after learning more about Ms Manning’s story when she was awarded a Blueprint Whistleblowing Award for Enduring Impact at the weekend.

He said: “What happened to her just seems so unjust. She helped expose one of the single greatest failings in US foreign policy and is now languishing in jail for 35 years. That just doesn’t seem right to me.”

He said the petition would now be presented to US representatives in four separate tranches. Details can be viewed at this link: https://www.change.org/p/hillary-clinton-get-us-army-whistleblower-chelsea-manning-out-of-jail